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While the Trump administration has been outwardly vocal about illegal immigration, it has effectively developed barriers to curb legal immigration through the H-1B visa program. His tough immigration stance has resulted in unprecedented scrutiny of H-1B petitions and thus created obstacles for US employers, foreign workers and legal professionals.
When To Apply For H1b Visa 2017
The H-1B visa program issues temporary H-1B visas to foreign workers, generally with a bachelor’s degree or higher, who have specialized skills to work for 3 years at a time, often in science, technology, and engineering fields. H-1B visas are awarded through an annual lottery system, and demand far outstrips supply. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues 85,000 visas each year – 65,000 to foreign workers with at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and an additional 20,000 to those with a master’s degree or higher. U.S.
The H 1b Visa, Explained
Critics of the H-1B visa program have consistently argued that wages are lowered when companies use it to displace Americans, to replace Americans with foreign workers. On the other hand, supporters say the program provides high-demand skills, creative and innovative workers in sectors where companies have a hard time hiring qualified Americans. Silicon Valley companies are particularly supportive of the program, with IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Apple ranking among the top 20 in H-1B visa approvals.
However, despite the huge benefits of growing our economy and remaining competitive in the global market, the Trump administration’s systematic combination of legislation, policy memos and operational changes has made it difficult for companies to hire foreign workers. The H-1B visa program plays a role in combating labor shortages by allowing employers in labor shortage areas to hire professionals from overseas to fill specialized positions. This includes teachers in rural school districts that have labor shortages and cannot find qualified American workers willing to relocate permanently. Also, H-1B workers strengthen our global competitiveness by fueling innovation and entrepreneurship. A study released by Harvard Business School found that between 1995 and 2006, immigrants accounted for a 67 percent increase in the U.S. science and engineering workforce. Number of H-1B positions by employers and overall job turnover after one year.
The unprecedented scrutiny of the H-1B visa program stems from President Trump’s “Buy American, Rent American” (BAHA) executive order. The stated purpose is to protect the economic interests of American workers by strictly enforcing and managing foreign worker immigration laws. BAHA separates the H-1B visa program and directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to coordinate policies with other agencies to ensure that H-1B visas are issued to “highly skilled or high-wage beneficiaries.” and to conduct a “comprehensive review” of employment visa programs. The Department of State (DOS) has made changes to its Foreign Affairs Directive (FAM), and the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Justice (DOJ) have strengthened monitoring and enforcement of H-1B employers.
Below are some of the actions that will negatively impact the administration’s H-1B visa program and workers:
Recording Available, November 30, 2017 Community Conference Call With Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna
More will inevitably come as the administration’s agenda includes additional regulatory measures and proposals to curb the legal immigration that has quickly established H-1B barriers.
The Trump administration’s specific policy changes have caused problems for everyone involved. Many are concerned about the increased costs and delays in H-1B visas. One example is the letter the American Medical Association (AMA) sent to USCIS on behalf of its physicians and medical students. Moreover, the higher standards and new interpretations will have a chilling effect on US employers as they cause significant uncertainty. The new policies have significantly reduced the number of H-1B petitions. The Trump administration’s immigration policy will increase uncertainty, raise “serious concerns” and harm the economic climate, according to a letter signed by a group of top US company CEOs, including Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon. The policy change is “unfair” and creates “unnecessary costs and complications” concerns. Growing frustration with the Trump administration’s policies has led to the formation of a litigation task force by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), chaired by Klasko, which has recently impacted many immigration issues.
It has been a year since I started practicing as a business immigration attorney. Business immigration law is highly technical and sophisticated. In the year that I have been practicing so far, many changes have taken place as detailed above. As our duty, business immigration attorneys must monitor these changes to ensure that client inquiries are answered and that work is completed in a timely and efficient manner. These changes will have a significant impact on how our customers conduct their businesses. Since I started practicing business immigration with RFEs, most of my knowledge on H-1Bs comes from preparing multiple responses to RFEs. The most common RFE questions I have successfully responded to are: Salary Level 1, Specialization, Status Maintenance, User Qualifications, and Employee-Employer Relations. Through exposure to the various ways USCIS questions H-1B petitions in RFEs, I became familiar with the types and types of documentation required for H-1B petitions. Worse, currently, compiling and filing H-1B petitions becomes an exercise in RFE avoidance, requiring greater preparation and strategy. All parties should be made aware of the increased investigation. Employers should prepare for potential setbacks and/or alternative arrangements in the event of a poor outcome. Unfortunately, RFAs are unpredictable even if an H-1B petition appears to be acceptable. More resources should be sought out than ever before.
These hinder the growth of the American economy by preventing the H-1B visa program from attracting our nation’s creative professionals, filling labor gaps with highly skilled foreign workers, and remaining competitive in the global marketplace. By influencing legislation, commenting on better proposals, initiating litigation, and being more proactive with RFEs, our country can become a better and more competitive “nation of immigrants.”
New H1b Visa 2021 Process Vs Old Lottery [visual Guide]
Rachel is a commercial immigration attorney. She aims to promote and support fair and reasonable immigration law and policy. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Hastings College of Law, where she is recognized for her pro bono work. Her past experience includes serving at the UC Hastings Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center’s Workers’ Rights Clinic, and Asia Pacific Island Legal Services. She enjoys photography and fitness, and exploring and learning. She is a proponent of positive thinking and personal growth/development.
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Chart: H 1b Visa Denials Have Been Rising Steadily Under Trump
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