U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to impose new restrictions making it more difficult to attract and retain highly-skilled foreign nationals and international students who attend a U.S. university.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley last month, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna outlined a series of measures that the agency has taken and is planning to implement President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order. That order seeks to create higher wages and employment rates among U.S. workers by restricting immigration and work permits.
New Measures Underway
Many of the new measures Cissna mentioned in his letter have been previously discussed. The measures USCIS plans to implement include:
- Establishing an electronic registration program for H-1B petitions subject to the annual lottery.
- Narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” to “increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals” under the H-1B program.
- Changing the definition of “employment” and “employer-employee relationship” to protect U.S. workers and wages. The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees USCIS, also plans to impose additional requirements on employers to pay appropriate wages to H-1B holders.
- Expanding its administrative site visit program to include employers with employees holding L-1B Visas for Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge Workers. Initially, USCIS will focus on employers petitioning for L-1B workers who primarily work at another third party company or organization.
- Eliminating H-4 dependent spouses from eligibility for work permits.
- Terminating the International Entrepreneur Rule. Earlier this year, a federal court ordered the Trump administration to accept petitions for entrepreneur parole. However, USCIS has not approved any parole requests under the rule so far.
We Can Help
In this age of increased immigration enforcement and narrowing options under Trump, ensuring your company is in compliance and keeping abreast of the latest developments is more important than ever. The Alcorn Immigration Law team can help. We support immigration for innovation. We can help you find the best strategy. Contact us.