The Department of Labor (Department or DOL) is amending its regulations related to the temporary employment of foreign professionals to implement procedural requirements applicable to a new visa category--the H-1B1 visa. The H-1B1 visa permits the temporary entry and employment in the United States of professionals in specialty occupations from countries with which the United States has entered into agreements identified in section 214(g)(8)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Congress created the new visa category as part of its approval of the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement and the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. By statute, the new H-1B1 visa is available only to nationals of Chile and Singapore. Under the implementing legislation, DOL's responsibilities regarding H-1B1 visas are to be implemented in a manner similar to the existing H-1B program for temporary employment of nonimmigrant aliens in specialty occupations and as fashion models.
Thus, employers in the United States seeking to temporarily employ foreign professionals in specialty occupations through H-1B1 visas must file a labor attestation with the Department of Labor making the same attestations regarding payment of prevailing wages, working conditions, absence of strikes or lockouts, and notice to other employees that employers currently make when seeking entry of a foreign worker under the H-1B program.
This interim final rule is effective on November 23, 2004. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this interim final rule. To ensure consideration, comments must be received on or before January 24, 2005.
For complete notice published in the Federal Register click here.