US Immigration Policy

Sessions on the H-1b Visa

As confirmation hearings begin on Senator Jeff Sessions becoming the next Attorney General, it is enlightening to hear what he has said on H-1b visas. In an interview published in 2016 for Breitbart, Sessions made claims such as “over half of US STEM grads can’t find jobs”; “IT wages have not gone up since 2000” and, “there is no shortage of skilled workers in the U.S.” Check out the full story here.

Changes to the H-1b in 2017 ?

In the first week of the new Congress, Rep Issa (R-CA) re-introduced a bill HR 170 designed to reform the H-1b program. The key component in the bill would raise the dependency exemption from $60,000 to $100,000. This same bill previously failed at the Committee level in 2016. It is expected that this will be but, the first, of bills introduced to change the H-1b visa program.

HLG to host 3 teleconferences on new USCIS regulations !

Recently the USCIS published new regulations which have far reaching implications for international workers. HLG will be hosting 3 individual teleconferences to cover the various subjects included. Please check out the link here and register and pass along to any friends or colleagues that may be interested.

Concerns for the H-1b visa under President Trump

Concerns that the H-1b visa will be significantly changed under Trump continue to mount. As articles are published, we will provide links to those that are from reputable sources.

Nov 27th, 2016 Livemint.com

What a Trump Presidency means for you ?

Although much of the immigration related Trump campaign for Presidency focused on “building a wall” and other enforcement issues, he did make some far-reaching comments such as “the H-1b visa should be eliminated” only to back track on that position later. He has surrounded himself with some immigration advisers, most notably, Senator Sessions who are not only opponents of illegal immigration but, also widespread critics of legal immigration. We must keep in mind not to believe everything we hear but, as information comes out about President-elect Trump’s immigration team and his planned policies on legal immigration, we will share them here. We will also share articles of interest that discuss the impact on IT staffing in general. Today’s article comes from Staffing Talk.

TechServe Alliance Annual Conference

Mike Hammond will be a speaker at the TechServe Alliance Annual Conference on Amelia Island, Nov 3rd-5th. Mike will be part of a legal panel focusing on compliance for IT and engineering staffing firms that will be part of the Fri afternoon session. He will be a facilitator at the opening session, Ultimate National Meet-Up on Thurs. and will host an industry “expert” lunch roundtable on Sat. If you are attending, please make sure you attend one of his events.

SIA’s take on H-1b visas

Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) recently published an in depth article on the H-1b visa and HLG Sr. partner, Mike Hammond was quoted in the article.

Issa Bill Dead

The House Judiciary Committee pulled the Issa bill which would’ve made changes to the H-1b dependency rules. Given such a short legislative season, it is unlikely that the bill will be re-drafted and presented again during this legislative session.

October Visa Bulletin

Late last week, the Department of State (DOS) released the October Visa bulletin. This visa bulletin was particularly anticipated since it was the first bulletin of the new fiscal year. Unfortunately, it did not deliver much in the way of positive news. On the positive side, it did wipe out much of the “short-term” retrogression that raised its head in the EB1 and EB2 categories in Aug and Sept. but, the “Dates for Filing Chart” which is viewed as a predictor of movement for the upcoming fiscal year, fell short of expectations. A comparison of the Dates for Filing chart from Oct 2015, show further retrogression in the EB2 categories for China and India and no movement forward for India EB3. EB3 for the Philippines and all other countries are the only 2 categories with notable advancement. A legislative fix remains sorely needed but, with the ‘build a fence” radicals in charge of both the Senate and the House, no relief is in sight.

September Visa Bulletin

The Department of State (DOS) has released the September Visa Bulletin. The Dates for Filing chart remained unchanged however, once again, the USCIS has determined not to honor the dates for I-485 filings. The Final Action Dates chart was largely unchanged however, the EB3 category for the Philippines, India and all other countries showed slight forward movement. The DOS also announced that it has made the final calculation for FY 2016 preference limits and the Employment based limit was 140,338 with the per country limit set at 25,644. We are expecting better news in the October bulletin however, legislative relief for retrogression is baldy needed.