US District Court docket (NDC) Halts DHS/DOL H-1B Interim Guidelines – Immigration

United States:

US District Court (NDC) Halts DHS/DOL H-1B Interim Rules

03 December 2020

Moodys Tax Law LLP

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To the relief of many seeking temporary employment in the US, US

employers, vital critical infrastructure-related industries,

immigration advocates, and immigration lawyers, on December 1,

2020, the US District Court for the Northern District of California

set aside the following interim rules:

In the District Court’s decision, the Court stated

that the interim rules were “promulgated in violation of 5

USC section 553(b),” and that DHS and DOL

“failed to show there was good cause to dispense with the

rational and thoughtful discourse that is provided by the APA’s

notice and comment requirements.” The case was filed by

US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers

and other trade groups and universities and is likely to face a

speedy government appeal that could impact the decision’s


The interim DHS rule, which was championed by the Trump

administration and published in the Federal Register on

October 8, 2020, significantly revised the regulatory definition

standards for “specialty occupation,” greatly narrowing

which beneficiaries and proffered H-1B positions are eligible for

the H-1B visa program, including disqualifying general discipline

degrees (business, engineering) and positions that require

education in one of several disciplines.

In turn, the interim DOL rule, which has drawn the most ire from

immigration advocates, immigration lawyers, and industry leaders,

dramatically restructured the prevailing wage system, including

significant changes to H-1B, E-3, H-1B1, and PERM programs with

entry-level wages increasing from the 17th percentile to

the 45th percentile of wages for the occupation and

geographic location.

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