In response to high-profile stories that uncovered abuse of the H-1B visa program, legislators have introduced several bills that would tighten H-1B visa regulations. Among other changes, the proposed legislation would remove the H-1B visa lottery system and prevent companies from replacing U.S. employees with immigrant workers.

Although some companies, such as Indian outsourcing firms, could see substantial losses if these bills are passed, Bloomberg reports that the new regulations may actually benefit large tech companies. There are 85,000 H-1B visas available each year, and a significant percentage of them go to companies that hire low-skilled workers – which is considered an abuse of the H-1B program. If fewer H-1B visas go to these companies, then more will be available to tech giants, such as Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc., which tend to hire only highly skilled immigrants.

The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a warning to companies that abuse the H-1B program, stating that the DHS has introduced new measures to detect abuse and fraud. As such, if your company hires immigrant workers through the H-1B program, it is critical that you take steps to ensure you are compliant with U.S. immigration laws.

Rusty O’Brien is an employment visa attorney in Louisville who can evaluate your situation and provide comprehensive legal guidance. Call 502-400-7890 today to schedule a consultation at the O’Brien Law Group.

Entry-Level Computer Programming Is No Longer Considered a Specialty Occupation by USCIS

According to USA Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a memo on March 31 – just three days before USCIS began accepting H-1B visa petitions for fiscal year 2018. The memo stated that entry-level computer programming would no longer be considered a specialty occupation. As a result, entry-level computer programmers will no longer automatically qualify for an H-1B visa.

Department of Justice: Companies That Abuse the H-1B Visa Program Will Be “Vigorously Prosecuted”

The DHS and USCIS are not the only agencies that are knuckling down on companies that abuse the H-1B visa program. In a recent statement, the Department of Justice disclosed that it will vigorously prosecute companies that discriminate against American workers. The DoJ stated that it intends to use site visits to investigate companies that hire a significant number of H-1B workers.

Although the future effects of H-1B visa reform are still a matter of speculation, now is the time for companies to evaluate their compliance systems to avoid accusations of fraud and abuse. If you hire workers through the L-1 or H-1B visa program, contact attorney Rusty O’Brien for legal guidance.

Mr. O’Brien has been a practicing immigration lawyer in Louisville for more than 10 years. He will answer your questions and help you navigate U.S. employment visa laws.

Call 502-400-7890 to schedule a consultation with an employment visa attorney. If you would like to learn more about U.S. immigration laws, visit USAttorneys.com.

 

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