Computer science/IT related majors
Computer Science & Information Technology (IT) related industries are the largest employers of foreign workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher, accounting for nearly 70% of all approved H-1B cases each year. As per the latest statistics released from the Department of Labor, Computer Science & IT-related jobs are expected to increase by 18% in 2022, indicating that people majoring in Computer Science & IT related majors have an advantage in obtaining H-1B sponsorships compared to other majors. In addition, the USCIS Policy Memo adopted under the Trump administration, which adversely affected H-1B approval for entry-level occupations in Computer Science & IT-related industries, has been withdrawn under the current administration, indicating that H-1B approval for such specialty occupations is expected to face less barriers.
In a world where it is impossible to imagine a life without the involvement of computers and IT technology, the following occupations are widely accepted for H-1B visa purposes.
• Software Developer
• Software Quality Assurance Analyst/Tester
• Network and Computer System Administrator
• Computer and Information Systems Analyst
• Information Security Analyst
• Computer Programmer
• Computer and Information Research Scientist
• Database Administrators & Architects
• Computer Hardware Engineer
• Computer Network Architect
To be approved for an H-1B, one must show that the said position is a Specialty Occupation which requires the hire to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Traditionally, Computer Science & IT-related occupations have been considered to easily meet the requirements of a Specialty Occupation as they typically require high levels of education. However, as mentioned above, the USCIS granted their officers wide discretion in 2017 with their Policy Memo, stating that entry-level Computer Science & IT-related occupations may not necessarily require bachelor-level education. As a result, Requests For Evidence (RFEs) issued by the USCIS substantially increased during the said period, and H-1B approval rates also dropped significantly. The said Policy Memo has been withdrawn as of February 2021, and we expect it will be easier to prove entry-level Computer Science & IT-related occupations meet the Specialty Occupation criteria.
That being said, not all Computer Science & IT-related occupations are automatically considered to be Specialty Occupations, as required for H-1B status. For example, it is widely accepted that occupations involving relatively simple support tasks, such as Computer User Support Specialists, Computer Technicians, or Web Administrators, are not Specialty Occupations as required for H-1B status.
Another important note is that a significant number of people in Computer Science & IT-related occupations are contracted through staffing agencies as freelancers, rather than being hired directly by an employer. Evidence of employer-employee relationships is an important aspect of H-1B requirements, and one must thoroughly go through the details of their employment agreement. Even for people hired through staffing agencies, there is a chance that they may qualify for H-1B visas, so it is important to consult with an immigration attorney in order to prepare a strong H-1B petition.
To all of the international students dreaming the American Dream as Computer Science & IT experts, SONG Law Firm wishes you the best of luck in your 2022 H-1B application. A great idea would be preparing your petition by teaming up with the experienced immigration attorneys at SONG Law Firm, who have extensive collective experience in petitioning for a variety of majors. If you have any further questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.