US policy memo: computer programmer not to qualify for H-1B visa

Apr 4, 2017 17:00 IST

The US government has ruled that being a simple computer programmer would no longer qualify as a specialist profession, which is a must for the issue of H-1B work visa.

The country through its new policy memorandum titled Rescission of the December 22, 2000 Guidance memo on H-1B computer-related positions ruled that an entry level computer programmer position would not generally qualify as a position in a specialty occupation. It positions supersedes and rescinds its previous guidelines of December, 2000.

The policy memorandum was issued on March 31 by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Highlights of the Rescission of the December 22, 2000 Guidance memo on H-1B

• According to the USCIS, the 22 December 2000 memorandum entitled 'Guidance memo on H-1B computer related positions' is not an accurate articulation of current agency policy.

• The ruling reverses Washington's more than decades and a half old guidelines, that were issued in the context of addressing the new millennium needs.

• The move could have far reaching implications on thousands of Indians applying for H-1B work visas for the next fiscal beginning on 1 October 2017, the process for which started on 3 April 2017.

• The memo also adds the fact that a person may be employed as a computer programmer and may he/she carries IT skills to help the firm/enterprise to achieve its goals in course of the job but it is not sufficient to establish the position as a specialty occupation.


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