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Joe Biden rescinds Trump memo denying H-1B visa to programmers

The United States citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) has rescinded its earlier guidance memo which held that computer programmers were not entitled to H-1B visas meant for speciality occupations. The new policy memorandum rescinding the guidance follows an order from a US appellate court that overturned a decision by USCIS.

The immigration services agency had denied an H-1B visa application from Innova Solutions that sought to hire an Indian citizen to work as a computer programmer. In the order, the US court of appeals for the 9th circuit noted that denial of H1-B nonimmigrant visa petition was arbitrary and capricious. The appellate court said that although USCIS did not explicitly rely on the guidance memo, the denial followed its logic.

In a fresh memo to officers, the USCIS on Wednesday said that it is rescinding the 2017 policy memorandum effective immediately to “ensure consistent adjudications across the H-1B program.” The federal agency has directed its officers to not apply the earlier memo to any pending or new requests for H-1B classification, including “motions on and appeals of revocations and denials of H-1B classification.”

The agency further stated that the memorandum does not remove USCIS officers’ discretion in making adjudicatory decisions and is intended solely for the guidance in discharging their official duties. “It may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable under law or by any individual or other party in removal proceedings, in litigation with the United States, or in any other form or manner,” the memo reads.

In the past few days, the Biden administration has made a series of announcements related to H1-B visa, delaying the measures taken by the previous administration. The department of homeland security (DHS) postponed the implementation of proposed changes to the H-1B registration system and selection process until December 31, 2021. According to the DHS, the effective date for the proposed changes has been delayed to give USCIS more time to “develop, test, and implement the modifications.” Hindustan Times

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