Researchers at the University of California-San Diego and the University of Michigan recently completed a study that showed the H-1B visa program has had positive effects on technological innovation, profits for IT companies, and the welfare of Americans. However, H-1B visa reform has been a top priority for legislators in 2017. Several bills have already been introduced that would tighten H-1B visa regulations and protect U.S. employees from being replaced by H-1B workers.

Recent high-profile stories have led to mounting support for H-1B visa reform. There has been a growing number of reports about companies using the H-1B visa program to exploit cheap labor at the expense of American workers.

For example, in 2016, the University of California-San Francisco laid off about 80 IT employees to replace them with lower-paid workers from HCL Technologies, an Indian outsourcing company. The Mercury News reports that the overhaul could save UCSF about $30 million over the next five years.

In March, several federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, issued warnings to companies that commit fraud and abuse the H-1B visa program. The DoJ announced that it intends to prosecute violators vigorously, and it will use site visits to investigate companies that hire workers through the H-1B program.

If you own a business and you hire immigrant workers, it is imperative that you are proactive about compliance with U.S. immigration laws. Rusty O’Brien is an employment visa lawyer 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.

How Will H-1B Reform Affect the Indian IT Sector?

In 2016, about 82 percent of all H-1B visas went to China and India, according to data from the U.S. Department of State. There has been mounting concern over how H-1B visa reform could affect the IT sector in these countries. According to Business Today, though, the Indian IT sector is actually expected to grow this year despite the proposed legislation.

The former President of the Confederation of Indian Industry recently stated that the Indian IT industry will grow by about 9 percent to 10 percent in 2017 to 2018. In fact, India’s IT sector is expected to outpace global growth by up to 3 percent.

Although the eventual effects of H-1B visa reform are still a matter of speculation, it is important that U.S. companies take steps to ensure they are compliant with immigration laws. If your business hires workers through the L-1 or H-1B program, contact the O’Brien Law Group to discuss your situation.

Rusty O’Brien is an employment visa lawyer in Louisville who will help you navigate U.S. immigration laws and avoid legal problems. Mr. O’Brien is the former MidSouth region chapter chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AIM). He regularly represents clients before the Immigration Service (CIS), Immigration Courts (EOIR), Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and numerous U.S. consulates and embassies abroad. Call 502-400-7890 to schedule a consultation.

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