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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AB97 Publication ID: Spring 2015 
Title: Implementation of AC21, the VWPPA, and the ACWIA 

The American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21), Public Law 106-313, was enacted in October 2000, along with two other laws, the Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act (VWPPA), Public Law 106-396, and a law to increase the fee for certain H-1B petitions, Public Law 106-311. An earlier piece of legislation, the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act (ACWIA), Public Law 105-277, was enacted to place certain conditions on the employment of H-1B workers. Together, these laws make significant changes to the H-1B classification. Public Law 106-313 increased the numerical H-1B cap to 195,000 for fiscal year 2000-2002 and the percentage of the fees that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) receives to 4 percent. It exempts certain aliens from the numerical cap, provides for the "portability" of employment authorization, and in certain circumstances extensions of stay for certain aliens who have permanent residence applications pending. Public Law 105-277 imposes penalties for employers violating certain representations and prohibits retaliation against H-1B workers who disclose these violations. Finally, on November 2, 2002, the President signed into law Public Law 107-273, the 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Act which codified a provision that amends section 106(a) of AC21. This regulation clarifies several interpretive questions raised by these laws and ensures that DHS practice is consistent with them. USCIS is considering incorporating the provisions of the regulation into the regulation titled Employment-based Immigration Modernization (RIN: 1615-AC05).

Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 103    8 CFR 202    8 CFR 204    CFR 205    8 CFR 214    8 CFR 245    8 CFR 248     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: Pub. L. 105-277    Pub. L. 106-313    Pub. L. 107-273    INA 101(a)(15)(H)    Pub. L. 106-396    8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(5)   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/00/2015 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: Undetermined 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Related RINs: Duplicate of 1615-AA55, Related to 1615-AC05 
Agency Contact:
Lori S. MacKenzie
Division Chief, Operations Policy & Stakeholder Communications, Immigrant Investor Program
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
131 M Street NE.,
Washington, DC 20529-2200
Phone:202 357-9214