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Computer programmers may no longer be eligible for H-1B visas

Thousands of Indian computer programmers who apply for H-1B visas may fail to get the desired visa in the wake of the new guidelines of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

A new policy memorandum issued by the USCIS on 31 March formulated these new guidelines regarding ‘Specialty Occupation’. Just one business day before the beginning of accepting the H-1B visa petitions, the USCIS has ruled that an entry level computer programmer would no longer be qualified as a specialist professional, and hence would be ineligible for H-1B visa.
“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 read.

The policy memorandum titled ‘Rescission of the December 22, 2000 Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions,’ sent shock waves across the Indian IT companies as their application was based on the December 2000 guidelines on what constitutes a specialty occupation.

According to the USCIS, the 2000 memorandum entitled ‘Guidance memo on H-1B computer related positions’ is no more an accurate articulation of its current policy.

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