The USCIS has issued a Policy Memorandum that will likely lead to denial of Computer-related positions where the employer uses a Level 1 OES wage. Accordingly, MU Law recommends that all clients use at least Level Two OES wages, or use alternative wage surveys. The new Policy Memorandum takes immediate effect and will be used for all H-1B petitions: H-1B cap, H-1B extensions, H-1B transfers, and H-1B amendments.
The March 31, 2017 Policy Memorandum rescinds a seventeen-year-old December 22, 2000 Policy Memorandum, issued by Nebraska Service Center then-Director Terry Way. There is little doubt that the new Policy Memorandum is a direct result of immigration restrictionists in the USCIS who feel emboldened by the new Trump presidency. It remains to be seen how restrictive USCIS officers will be as they interpret forthcoming computer H-1B petitions.
At virtually the same time, USCIS also has issued additional measures aimed at perceived abuses in the H-1B program. The April 3, 2017 press release says that these site visits will focus on:
- Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data;
- H-1B-dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute); and
- Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.