According to a recent Reuters article, “President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has been actively considering ways to revamp a temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
Possibilities for reforming the distribution of H-1B visas, which are used largely by the tech industry, were discussed at a meeting last month with chief executives of tech companies at Trump Tower, said two sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to talk about the closed-door tal
Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller proposed scrapping the existing lottery system used to award the visas. A possible replacement system would favor visa petitions for jobs that pay the highest salaries, according to the sources.
H-1B visas are intended for foreign nationals in “specialty” occupations that generally require higher education, which according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) includes, but is not limited to, scientists, engineers or computer programmers. The government awards 65,000 every year.
Companies say they use them to recruit top talent. But a majority of the visas are awarded to outsourcing firms, sparking criticism by skeptics that say those firms use the visas to fill lower-level information technology jobs. Critics also say the lottery system benefits outsourcing firms that flood the system with mass applications.”
The road ahead on H-1b visas is uncertain.
“While Trump could initiate some changes to the visa program with executive action, significant shifts would likely need to go through a lengthy formal rulemaking process, said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration expert at Cornell Law School. Major changes would likely be subject to court challenges, he said.”
We will have to wait and see how the new administration wants to treat this area of Immigration law.
Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Attorney and Sacramento Immigration Lawyer. He has over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases. He would be happy to talk to you, free of charge, about your immigration case. He may be reached at 916-760-7270.