Top U.S. H-1B Occupations
Article written by FLG Attorney: Melissa Winkler
Article published on: August 7, 2017
Over the past ten years, the vast majority of H-1B filings have been for computer- and IT-related positions such as computer systems analysts (22.1% of positions certified by the DOL), software developers – applications (15.8%), and computer programmers (9.5%).
In its recent Policy Memorandum titled, “Rescission of the December 22, 2000 ‘Guidance memo on H-1B Computer Related Positions,’” the USCIS indicated that, based on the definition of computer programmer in the DOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), they have concluded that most computer programmer positions would not qualify for the H-1B as many such positions do not require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Computer programmer positions, therefore, may not rise to the level of a specialty occupation as required by H-1B visa regulations. The memo also stated that other positions which fall into OOH classifications which generally, but not always, require a four-year bachelor’s degree may draw additional inspection for meeting H-1B specialty occupation standards.
Given the high demand for technology positions, companies will likely continue to sponsor a large number of foreign workers for computer related positions under the H-1B category. However, we will likely see companies shift away from computer systems analysts and computer programmer positions which will likely face a higher level of scrutiny from USCIS.