Adjudicator's Field Manual Update: Chapter 31: Accepting and Adjudicating H-IB Petitions when a Required License is not Available Due to State Licensing Requirements Mandating Possession of a Valid Immigration Document as Evidence of Employment Authorization [open pdf - 642KB]
"This memorandum provides guidance to adjudication officers in situations where professional licensure is required for a particular H -1 B specialty occupation. USCIS [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services] is aware that in certain cases the alien beneficiary of an H -I B petition cannot obtain a license that is necessary to practice his or her profession from the State or other licensing authority without presenting, as a prerequisite, evidence of an approved H-IB petition on that alien's behalf. This creates an adjudicative difficulty for USCIS because approval of the H-IB petition may itself be contingent on the alien beneficiary's possession of the required license. USCIS is responding to these 'Catch-22' situations by allowing for the temporary approval of the petition, providing all other requirements are met. USCIS' s approval of an H -I B petition on the alien beneficiary's behalf in such cases is not authorization for the beneficiary to practice his or her profession without the required license. It is merely a means to facilitate the State or local licensing authority'S issuance of such a license to the alien, provided all other requirements are satisfied."