Published April 10, 2017
Like in years past, the annual supply of 85,000 H-1B professional work visas for the coming fiscal year was exhausted within the first week employers were eligible to file visa petitions. This year, April 3, 2017 was the first day U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting H-1B filings for the coming fiscal year of 2018, which starts on October 1, 2017. As is becoming a yearly tradition, DHS/CIS will be conducting a lottery in the coming weeks to select the “winning” visa petitions from the huge batch received. The number of visa petitions received is estimated to be more than 3 times the supply of available visas. Once chosen, the visa petitions will be reviewed and adjudicated pursuant to applicable rules and regulations.
While the yearly mad dash for H-1B visas unfolded this past week, the Trump administration announced a crackdown on a dozen or so “outsourcing firms” – mainly from India – that account for 85% of the H-1B visa petitions filed and that primarily seek to use the H-1B visa to fill lower level computer programmer positions. Outsourcing firms generally employ a workforce that ultimately gets assigned to an outside, 3rd party company with whom the outsourcing firm has a contract to provide staffing for.
These outsourcing firms will now be the subject of heightened scrutiny, especially with regard to their adherence to regulations designed to protect American worker wages and working conditions. Additionally, the Trump administration announced that it would be eliminating H-1B eligibility for lower level IT computer programmer positions.
These measures are aimed to protect U.S. workers and to even the playing field for American firms looking to file H-1B petitions on behalf of IT professionals, especially for onsite positions on their own premises.
PUBLISHED April 10, 2017– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2017, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois