New H-1B Visa Policy on Licensing Requirements.

According to a Memorandum issued last week, USCIS will now approve an H-1B petition for a one-year period to enable certain applicants to subsequently obtain a professional license.

Many professional licensing agencies will not issue a license to a foreign citizen unless the individual can present proof of employment authorization. At the same time, these individuals could not qualify for an H-1B unless they possessed the required professional license. Unlike the TN visa classification (where a license is not needed for approval), the H-1B visa regulations provide that if an occupation requires a state or local license to fully perform the duties of the occupation, an H-1B applicant must obtain the license prior to the approval of the petition. See 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(v).

Under this new H-1B policy, affected applicants will be approved for a one-year H-1B petition provided they can prove they are otherwise qualified for the license and that they have in fact filed for the requisite license.

Read the new H-1B Licensing Policy Memo.