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

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that computer programmers will not be eligible for H-1B visas by default.

The (USCIS) on March 31, released a policy memorandum titled “Rescission of the December 22, 2000 ‘Guidance memo on H-1B computer related positions’”.  The move could directly affect thousands of Indians applying for such a visa.

The document says that according to the 2000 memo that “described all programmers as sharing a fundamental job duty, i.e., writing and testing computer code”, and that it was improper to conclude based on this information that USCIS would “generally consider the position of programmer to qualify as a speciality occupation”.

The memo also said 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 speciality occupation.

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows American firms to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

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