New Executive Order on H-1B Visas –What Does it Mean?

The new executive order signed by President Trump may have quite an impact on H-1B visas.

In his order for an interdepartmental review of the country’s H-1B visa program, the president wants suggestions for changes to the program to offer increased job protections for American workers.

In his remarks about the H-1B visa, the president stated that “it should include only the most skilled and highest-paid applicants and should never, ever be used to replace American workers.”

The desired goal of the potential changes is the crackdown on unscrupulous business owners who prefer to hire foreign labor at cheaper wages than by employing qualified American workers or engaging in the training of US citizens for specific high-skilled jobs.

Potential Changes to the H-1B Visa Program

Some of the potential changes that the administration would like to see to the H-1B visa program include:

⦁ Providing H-1B visas for best-educated employees and highest-paid jobs rather than to any applicant meeting only the basic requirements of the job
⦁ Changing the definition of the “prevailing wage” in an industry

There is no current consensus on which type of changes will be made. Benefits of the program could sway in favor of larger tech companies who bring high-level engineers from other countries, or it could be an across-the-board overhaul that protects all levels of jobs.

Current Status of the H-1B Visa Program

With its current popularity and standing, the H-1B visa program awards its 65,000 slots through a lottery system since it typically gets more applications on the first day that visa slots are open than it has visas available for the entire year. This requires companies to complete the entire application process without knowing if it will be approved.

Contracting and outsourcing firms get the most visa slots in the lottery even though they have more regulatory processes to follow. Potential changes could grant extra preference to workers in the highest-paying sectors, such as the technology industry. This could hurt smaller, start-up businesses that need to bring in qualified people at lower wages than what the larger companies can afford to pay.

At this point, no current changes are expected until the review is complete. Please contact the law offices of Brodzki Jacobs & Associates, PL at (954) 344-7737 for answers to all of your immigration5 visa questions.

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