With “extreme vetting,” our immigration system is changing rapidly. Despite restrictions, employers who act strategically can still hire and retain the top talent from around the world.
Immigration is tightening without Congressional oversight or adherence to the federal rulemaking process. Many of these changes stem from executive orders issued by President Trump seeking to curb immigration under the guise of improving the wages and employment rates of U.S. workers and thwarting terrorism.
Under the Trump administration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has implemented administrative changes that make employment-based immigration harder. Some of the biggest updates employers should know about include:
- Challenging the H-1B petitions of candidates being paid entry-level wages, including doctors, lawyers, and other licensed professionals.
- Subjecting all individuals seeking employment-based immigration visas to an in-person interview with no indication how these interviews will identify potential threats to the U.S. Meanwhile, longer processing times for all employment-based visas will result.
- Reviewing renewals with the same intense scrutiny as initial petitions even if the situation of the foreign national remains unchanged.
- Targeted worksite inspections focusing on IT consulting firms, small companies and startups, many of which don’t have the traditional brick-and-mortar worksites.
- Denying the advance parole applications of those who traveled abroad before USCIS approved their applications. Advance parole allows a non-citizen to re-enter the U.S. Previously, advance parole applicants could travel abroad with a pending application as long as the individual had other valid means for readmittance to the U.S.
- Allowing U.S. embassies and consulates overseas to increasingly reexamine and delay visa petitions already approved by USCIS through a so-called 221(g) administrative processing notice. These administrative notices are rising for H-1B petitions, particularly those for IT consultants.
Even though employers face greater challenges now, we can help. Many employers can still get visas and green cards approved. The key is to act strategically and cover all your bases.
We Can Help
The Alcorn Immigration Law team is closely watching the latest developments. We can help you best maneuver your company and employees through the employment-based immigration system during these uncertain and quickly shifting times. Contact us.