Policy Alert: USCIS Releases Guidance Memo for H-1B about “Computer Programmers”

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In a policy memorandum released on March 31, 2017, USCIS rescinded the memorandum issued in 2000 titled “Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions.” This will impact applications received in this year’s cap that opened today, April 3, 2017 for the 2018 Fiscal Year.

The guidance suggests more scrutiny will be placed on computer programming position applications. More evidence may be needed to prove the specialization or professional degrees needed as well as the wages associated with the position.

The lawyers from Envoy-affiliated law firm, G.I.A., are aware of the details of the guidance and have taken proper precaution with computer programming applications. Ryan Bay, director of legal operations and an immigration attorney at G.I.A. explains, “The recent release of the  policy memo from the White House has long confirmed the understanding that entry level “Computer Programmers” generally do not qualify for the H-1B. This does not include Software Developers, System Engineers, or similar positions.  We have always taken precaution with preparing these applications and advised clients not to file if we thought the case was at higher risk.”

It is possible that a law suit could be filed to challenge the guidance.

We will continue to update as new developments are released.

The memorandum can be found here.