US Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to get tough on H-1B visas, according to a letter earlier this month from USCIS Director Francis Cissna to the Senate Judiciary Committee. And the agency plans regulatory changes to prohibit employment for spouses of H-1B holders, who are using H-4 visas.
Such regulation would reverse a 2015 rule that allowed H-4 visa holders to get jobs. The Times of India reported such a move would affect nearly 100,000 spouses of Indian workers.
H-1B visas are used to bring in highly skilled foreign workers, such as IT workers, on a temporary basis and they are subject to a cap of 85,000 per year. But earlier this month that cap was reached within the first week that H-1B visas were available for the sixth year in a row, although the number of visa petitions fell from the previous year.
Cissna wrote in his letter the USCIS is making changes to implement the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order. The letter also discussed the recent policy memorandum getting tougher on H-1B petitions filed for workers at third-party worksites. He also wrote there are plans to revise the definition of “employment and employer-employee relationship to better protect US workers and wages.”
USCIS’ targeting of firms that send H-1B workers to third-party websites has raised concerns the agency may be discriminating against the staffing business model.