Posted 30/10/2018 in Category 1

What Are The Effect of Trump's H-1B Visa Crackdown Toward American Labor Force?

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What Are The Effect of Trump's H-1B Visa Crackdown Toward American Labor Force?

Since April 2017, President Donald Trump signed the "Buy American, Hire American" executive order and we've seen companies, employees and international students adjust to a new US labor force climate. This new order directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure that H-1B visas used by employers to hire expatriates are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid recipients. H-1B visa is valid for three years and it can be renewed for another three years. Most of high skilled workers such as engineer are really depend on this visa with many of them vying for one of the 65,000 quotas each year and another 20,000 for advanced degree holders. As the demand for the visa had always been exceeds the supply, a lottery system is applied to determine who will be the beneficiaries. 


This Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order also demand that H-1B visa should be more difficult to get, especially for Indian and Chinese recipients who had always been the highest number of recipient year by year. But obtaining an H-1B visa has already become more complicated since Donald Trump became president. One indicator of that is another Requests For Evidence (RFE) where US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting more information to the H-1B applicants. Although their purpose is to ensure that the USCIS only grants visas to people who meet the criteria (such as employees who get high paid), lawyers who represent H-1B applicants say they are now getting “more unexpected” requests. This RFE is such a method to crack down the employers that misuse the visa as a way to import cheap labor. This new immigration policy also resulting on some companies to move some jobs abroad. Although some believed that this "Buy American, Hire American" strategy is a good way to preventing fraud and abuse of work visas. In the upcoming years, there’s also possibility to shorten the visa duration to less than 3 years. 


Although some of them who are pro to this policy believe that some employers had abused H-1B visas, how bad the abuse and how to prevent it remains a sensitive issue. Some lawyers who used to or currently involved on this case says that asking for more information from third party companies could help the government crackdown on this problem. The threat of prosecution if companies are caught lying should be enough to detect fraud.


Five Impacts of H-1B Visa Limitation Under Trump’s Administration

 

The first immediate effect which everyone could see is that the number of students applying to American colleges are decreasing. According to the National Science Board, while the number of international students both in undergraduate and graduate level enrolling in American colleges increased consistently from 2012 to 2016, between 2016 and 2017 and it was around the time when Trump’s victory was already forecasted, undergraduate enrollment in STEM fell 2% and graduate enrollment in STEM fell by 6% and by 5% in the remaining fields. This is not great news for the universities since international students tend to pay higher fees than their American counterparts. This decline will also impact the jobs availability for international students. The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that the percentage of employers who will hire international students are in the lowest percentage in 2018. Consequently, they move out and seek the same opportunity in another country that might more welcome them such as Canada. The number of skilled workers in STEM fields who received invitations from the Canadian government to apply for permanent residency surged in 2017. Last year, Canadian government said it will grant permanent resident status to 177,500 skilled workers in 2018 and it will continue to increase in the upcoming years. Furthermore, there are so many technology outsourcing firms that might get the most immediate impact as they demands so many H-1B slot each year. For example:  Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., and Infosys Ltd. They have always been some of the biggest new H-1B visa recipients. Although some of them are planning to ramp up their hiring process, some of American tech giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, jumped higher on the list of top sponsors as well.


H-1B aspirants will also be watching approval rates. USCIS approved more than 90% of the H1B applications it processed in fiscal 2017, but that rate dropped down below 85% in the first two months of fiscal 2018.

 

We understand that this may be a confusing, and very frustrating ordeal for many people. Our premier law expertise in immigration and tax debt, along with our many legal departments here in NYC help make things smoother. Contact us today for a consultation!


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