New Anti-Immigration Policies to Impact Foreign Skilled Workers

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Clients Prepare for Their Immigration Interview.New immigration policies will make it more difficult for the United States to bring skilled tech and engineering workers into the country. In a letter sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Francis Cissna detailed changes the agency is making to prevent degreed foreign professionals from living and working in the United States.

The changes, Cissna says, are in line with the President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order. Immigration experts believe this rejection is not only anti-American but will slow down the nation’s advancement in technology and other global sectors.

Looking at the H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa is currently the primary way that highly-skilled foreign-born nationals and international students attending college in the United States can work in this country. In 1990, Congress set a limit on the number of H-1B visas to be issued every year. Fiscal 2019 will be the 16th straight year the H-1B visa count has been exhausted.

With caps on H-1B visas, American employers lose access to some of the world’s highest caliber workers. Without their pick of the top science and tech minds, high-profile companies may be inclined to leave the country, taking billions of dollars that would have gone back into the United States economy with them.

Changes Affecting Foreign Skilled Workers

In the letter to Grassley, Cissna outlined three primary changes to immigration policies affecting foreign skilled workers. The USCIS will:

  • Change the definition of “specialty occupation” and revise the definition of “employment” and “employer-employee relationship” to “better protect U.S. workers and wages.” This means fewer foreign skilled workers will qualify for the H-1B visa.
  • Reverse a 2015 rule classifying dependent spouses as aliens who are eligible for employment in the United States. This change prevents the spouses of skilled workers on H-1B visas from working in the country, giving their families less incentive to live and work in the United States.
  • Propose a removal of the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) enacted in December 2017, which gives approved, qualified entrepreneurs temporary parole to launch and grow their businesses in the United States.

Forty percent of Fortune 400 companies were created by immigrants or their children. If these new immigration policies come to fruition and the United States makes it harder for talented, enterprising foreign workers to obtain these and other non-immigrant visas, the country may risk falling behind the rest of the world technologically, scientifically, and financially.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Foreign Workers Resolve Visa Issues

At Surin & Griffin, P.C., our dedicated Philadelphia immigration lawyers help clients complete applications for employment-based visas to the exact specifications of the law to improve their chances of approval. We know the visa process can be overwhelming, and we are here to help. To schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable, multilingual Philadelphia immigration lawyer, call 215-925-4435, or contact us online. Conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients in and around Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.