In a recently released Unified Agenda for the Department of Homeland Security, the Trump administration proposed forthcoming rules. These new immigration regulations, if enacted, could have a profound effect on H1-B and L-1 visa holders.
Under more restrictive Trump administration policies, the denial rates for H1-B visas have increased significantly. According to an analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy, the denial rates have gone from 6% to 24% in the last four years. Further regulations could lead to increased denials and become a burden on employers and highly skilled foreign workers.
The proposed H1-B rule would revise the definitions of specialty occupation, employment, and employer-employee relationship. DHS also plans to propose additional requirements that would affect the wages paid to H1-B visa holders. It is believed that the Trump administration is looking towards pushing the boundaries and making long-term structural changes to H1-B visas. A new regulation that would revise the definition of employment and employer-employee relationship could affect employers who place workers at client sites and not a central location. In addition, there is the possibility that a computer programmer will no longer be considered a specialty occupation.
The Trump administration has already made it nearly impossible for nationals in countries such as India to obtain an L-1 visa. It is believed that 80-90% of applications in India are denied. New regulations could make approval even more difficult. DHS proposes to revise the definitions of specialized knowledge, employment, and employee-employer relationship. Regulations regarding wages may also go into effect. The target date for new proposed rules is in September of 2020.
Employers already face frustration with local consular offices that put unnecessary burdens on L-1 visa applicants. There is nothing in the law about a limit on the number of employees with specialized knowledge a company can have. However, some consular offices place an artificial limit. It is believed that further regulations may impose an actual limit making it more difficult for employers to bring over the workers with specialized knowledge that they need.
If you are applying for a visa, you want an experienced immigration attorney on your side. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.