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Global Business Team

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Major changes for work visas in the U.S.

The USCIS administration has long held that employers must provide a detailed itinerary for the location and duties of all prospective employees they wish to move to the United States for work positions. This transition began with specific companies needing IT workers from countries such as India where there are many qualified workers, but now, it appears the removal of the itinerary requirement will become general government policy for all foreign nationals wanting to work in the U.S. on an H-1B visa, including in Indiana.

A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the immigration case ITServe Alliance, Inc. v. Cissna defined the “employee-employer relationship” as including periods of times when the employees were in nonproductive periods while still being needed for future job-related tasks. This ruling now means that companies can bring workers to the U.S. on H1-B visas without establishing a definitive work schedule, which, in turn, gives them more flexibility in honoring contracts while maintaining sufficient staffing.

This is a very important court decision given the significant drive to re-energize the U.S. economy. This gives companies the benefit of long-term business planning strategies regarding their workforce with respect to acquiring H-1B visa authorization for all necessary personnel.

All employers and prospective employees should understand that other requirements still apply when requests are being submitted to USCIS that will necessitate assistance from an experienced employment-based immigration attorney who can ensure that all case particulars to subsequent visa approvals are in compliance. Each case is evaluated on an individual basis, and clearance for visa approval is not guaranteed. This means that solid legal representation is still essential for a timely approval.