The United States has ruled that being a mere computer programmer would no longer qualify as a specialist profession, which is a prerequisite for an H-1B work visa.
The move will have a huge impact on thousands of entry-level Indian programmers applying for H-1B work visas for the next fiscal beginning 1 October 2017, the process for which started yesterday.
According to a report in the Deccan Chronicle, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) passed a new policy memorandum on 31 March 2017.
"The fact that a person may be employed as a computer programmer and may use information technology skills and knowledge to help an enterprise achieve its goals in the course of his or her job is not sufficient to establish the position as a specialty occupation," the USCIS policy memorandum ruled.
The memorandum states that, a petitioner must provide other evidence to establish that the particular position qualifies as a speciality occupation.
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. "USCIS is rescinding it to prevent inconsistencies in H-1B and H-1B1 adjudications between the three service centres that currently adjudicate H-1B petitions," it said.
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