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USCIS Adopts DOL Definition of "Science or Art" for Job Immigration: What You Need to Know

April 10, 2024 In a significant update impacting job-based immigration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has aligned its policies with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regarding the definition of "science or art" for Group II occupations under Schedule A.

For employers navigating job-based immigration processes, obtaining DOL certification is often a prerequisite before submitting Form I-140 to USCIS. This form is essential for hiring foreign workers when there's a shortage of qualified American candidates for specific roles.

Enter Schedule A occupations. Instead of undergoing DOL scrutiny, these roles allow employers to directly submit applications to USCIS. Currently, DOL has classified such occupations into two groups: one comprising nurses and therapists, and another for individuals with exceptional skills in science or art.

USCIS's recent policy revision ensures consistency with DOL guidelines, particularly for Group II occupations. By incorporating DOL's definition of "science or art," which encompasses fields offering specialized degree programs in colleges, USCIS aims to streamline the adjudication process.

Furthermore, USCIS emphasizes the importance of providing substantial and high-quality evidence, a crucial aspect of their evaluation process. This approach underscores USCIS's commitment to maintaining fairness and efficiency in the immigration system.

For employers and foreign workers navigating the job-based immigration landscape, understanding these policy updates is vital. By staying informed and adhering to USCIS and DOL standards, stakeholders can navigate the immigration process effectively and secure opportunities in the United States.

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