New Changes in the Horizon for H-1B Visas Affecting the High Tech Industry

A new registration requirement for highly educated foreign professionals requesting H-1B visas is on the horizon, which illustrate the roadblocks the Trump administration is putting in front of immigrants, documented and undocumented alike.

MAGA really means less legal immigration.

This time, the current administration is affecting some of the most valuable tech workers from top companies in the USA.

Recently, USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Services) closed a period of comments for a proposed new rule for H-1B visas that would require employers looking to hire these workers to register in an electronic database with the agency during a specific timeframe.

The implementation of this new rule may impose additional costs to employers and it is seen by critics as the government taking more control and imposing limits.

High-tech business are afraid that the new rule will prevent companies to hire the most qualified workers available in the world.

The government announced that the system will be up and running by April 1st 2019, and the implementation is expected to create chaos on the H-1B petition log. Companies will be required to register workers that have been already petitioned under the current system, which will impose additional work and costs to their systems.  Additionally, the time frame to register under the new rule it’s just weeks before the FY2020 new H-1B begins, which will bring new influx of petitions.

Each year, USCIS opens 85,000 H-1B visas in a period that starts each April.

There are many details to consider on this new rule, but in synthesis the system will potentially favor foreign high tech professionals with master degrees and more from a USA university, in contrast of bringing highly educated foreign individuals with more working experience from the rest of the world.

This is important since, according to Forbes Magazine, nearly half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by first or second-generation immigrants.

A graduate of a USA master degree program may have better chance to get the prized H-1B visa than a PhD from a foreign university.

Businesses have not kept silent. They responded with a good number of comments to the proposed new rule and system and are requesting a delay on the implementation of the new registry system.

We will keep you informed on any new development and changes in immigration systems that affect corporations.

Attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta has a background in the high-tech industry and is a past recipient of an H-1B visa. Schedule an appointment for a consultation by phone and in person at (480) 324-6378

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