USCIS Sends Letter on B-1/B-2 Upcoming Proposed Regulation

On May 30, 2018, L. Francis Cissna, Director of U.S. Citizenship

and Immigration Services (USCIS), sent a letter to Rep. Paul

Mitchell (R-Mich.), who had hosted a May 16, 2018, roundtable on

B-1 visa issues.

The letter notes that USCIS is reviewing existing regulations,

policies, and programs and developing a combination of rulemaking,

policy memoranda, and operational changes to implement President

Trump's “Buy American and Hire American” executive

order. Among other things, the letter states:

One area of focus is the B visa program. As noted in the Spring

2018 Unified Agenda, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is

working on a proposed regulation pertaining to nonimmigrants

admitted to the United States as temporary visitors for business

(B-1) or pleasure (B-2). The proposed regulatory revisions will

clarify the criteria for according B-1 or B-2 nonimmigrant

classification to applicants for admission to the United

States.

As stated in the Unified Agenda, “Such clarification is

necessary to ensure fair and consistent adjudication and

enforcement, as well as to make the criteria more

transparent.”

The letter states that this rulemaking is a “priority”

and that USCIS is “taking a lead role in drafting the proposed

regulation,” which will include an opportunity for public

comment.

The letter also references discussion of “B-1 in lieu of

H” issues during the roundtable:

As explained, USCIS adjudicates applications from individuals who

are already here and wish to extend a stay in B status or change to

another nonimmigrant status (that is, change either to or from B

status). USCIS also adjudicates employer petitions in H

nonimmigrant visa classifications. As part of the above-described

regulatory process, we are, in coordination with the Department of

State and other immigration components within DHS, reviewing

existing policy with respect to “B-1 in lieu of H-1,” as

well as “B-1 in lieu of H-3.”

Director Cissna's letter, copied to six Republicans and two

Democrats, refers to a meeting “in the near future” with

Rep. Mitchell to “discuss our efforts to improve the B visa

program, as well as our other regulatory initiatives and statutory

suggestions.”

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