Shall I Be Happy Or Sad About The New H1b Rule Introduced By DHS?

Updated on: 2023-10-22 - 2 mins read
USCISH-1B Specialty Occupation WorkerModernizing H1B Lottery ProcessDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS)Streamlining H1b Eligibility Requirements
Shall I Be Happy Or Sad About The New H1b Rule Introduced By DHS?
Modernizing H-1B Specialty Occupation Worker Program


The United States is considering significant changes to the H-1B visa program, which could have far-reaching consequences for Indian professionals and international students. These changes are designed to modernize the system, combat fraud, and expand opportunities for foreign nationals, particularly entrepreneurs. This article delves into the proposed changes and their implications.

Proposed Changes and Their Effects on Professionals:

  • Fair Selection Process: Each beneficiary would have only one entry into the selection process, irrespective of the number of registrations filed on their behalf. This change intends to eliminate the advantage of multiple registrations submitted to increase the odds of selection.
  • Preventing Misuse and Fraud: The changes introduce measures to prevent misuse and fraud in the system. Prohibition of connected organizations from submitting multiple registrations for the same person. USCIS would have the authority to conduct on-site visits, and non-cooperation by employers could result in the denial or withdrawal of a petition.
  • Redefining "Specialty Occupation": The definition of a "specialty occupation" for H-1B eligibility is set to change. It will no longer rely solely on a degree as the primary determinant of specialty. This change aims to broaden the scope of eligible professions.
  • Implications for Certain Job Roles: The proposed rule could impact job positions that don't require specialized degrees. For example, roles in business administration or liberal arts may face a more stringent application process.
  • Impact on Tech Sector: The changes consider the requirements of clients when determining specialty occupations. This could have implications for Indian professionals working in the tech sector, particularly those placed at client sites.
  • Sponsorship by Self-Owned Companies: The changes make it easier for foreign nationals to be sponsored for an H-1B visa by a company they own. This offers greater opportunities for entrepreneurs to pursue their business endeavors in the United States.

Effects on International Students:

  • Extended "Cap-Gap" Protection: International students transitioning from F-1 status to H-1B visas would benefit from extended "cap-gap" protection. The "cap-gap" refers to the period between the expiration of F-1 status and the start of H-1B status Under the proposed rules, this period would be extended, providing students with six additional months of status and employment authorization.
  • OPT Period Extension: The Optional Practical Training (OPT) period for students would be extended to one year. Students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines would be eligible for a two-year OPT extension.
  • Relationship Between OPT and H-1B: Students on OPT can continue working while awaiting an H-1B decision if they submit their application on time.However, if the H-1B application remains unprocessed by October 1, employment must cease.


The proposed changes to the H-1B visa program aim to modernize the system and provide more opportunities for foreign professionals and students. While they offer benefits such as extended "cap-gap" protection for students and the potential for entrepreneurs to be sponsored for H-1B visas, certain job roles and application processes may become more stringent. The changes have significant implications for Indian professionals and international students, potentially reshaping the landscape of US work visas.

Official Link:

USCIS- DHS Issues Proposed Rule to Modernize the H-1B Specialty Occupation Worker Program.