USCIS Rescinds 2017 Policy Memorandum on H-1B Computer-Related Positions

February 10, 2021

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.

On February 3, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rescinded PM-602-0142, “Rescission of the December 22, 2000 ‘Guidance memo on H-1B computer related positions.'” USCIS said its officers should not apply the rescinded memo “to any pending or new requests for H-1B classification, including motions and appeals of revocations and denials of H-1B classification,” and that further guidance is forthcoming.

USCIS explained that on December 16, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a decision in Innova Solutions v. Baran, where the court overturned USCIS’s denial of an H-1B nonimmigrant visa petition as arbitrary and capricious. The court’s opinion noted that while USCIS did not explicitly rely on PM-602-0142, the denial followed its logic. To ensure “consistent adjudications across the H-1B program, USCIS is rescinding PM-602-0142,” the new USCIS policy memorandum said.