Preparing for Business Immigration Changes Under a New President

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You cannot bring in a new presidential administration without also bringing a completely different viewpoint on America’s biggest issues, concerns, and regulations. The Trump Administration has promised to focus on immigration in particular, including how business immigration laws are created or changed. Much of Trump’s campaign focused on using legislation to protect American jobs and direct the flow of the economy inward. But how will this be accomplished?

H-1B Visa Program Reform

Even before the Trump Administration entered the White House, many lawmakers and businesses were calling for H-1B visa program reform of one type or another. Each year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will only approve of 85,000 H-1B visas to let specialized foreign workers live within the country while employed in a relevant career field; 20,000 of those visas are reserved specifically for foreign workers with advanced degrees. For many, this limit is a problem.

A few people argue that the limit should be reduced to increase the chances that a United States citizen will be hired for specialist jobs. However, most businesses advocate for the exact opposite: raise the H-1B visa cap, or remove it altogether. The argument there being that the best possible worker should be able to get “the job,” no matter where they were born or how many others were hired that same year. Indeed, many American corporations suffer each year after a prospective and promising foreign employee does not receive the necessary employment visa.

The Trump Administration has not made much comment about adjusting the H-1B visa cap, though. Rather, most of the talk has been about changing the random lottery system that gives out these visas due to the fear of people “gaming the system.”

Increased I-9 Audits

There has also been a crackdown on illegal immigration since the Trump Administration began. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has received significant federal backing. This will presumably result in an increase in I-9 audits. Form I-9s must be provided by employers to show that a foreign worker under their employ actually has the legal right to be there. Failing to have I-9 forms in order could end in harsh penalties for that business, and the possible removal of that employee if no other immigration forms are provided.

Preparing Your Own Business for Changes

There has perhaps never been a more important time to get all of your paperwork and documentation in order as a business owner, especially if you employ foreign workers. To get you and your business prepared for anything, check and double-check I-9 forms, start thinking about how many H-1B visa holders you will need in the next fiscal year, and talk to foreign workers about any forms they might need to keep on them. You can also team up with Toppins Law Firm, P.C. and our Houston business lawyers for legal direction. We have more than 40 years of total legal experience we can put to work in handling your business immigration law case or inquiries.