The H-1B Visa: What Businesses Need to Know

Visa Stamp on PassportU.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies have received both praise and backlash since he took office. If your business needs foreign workers in specialized fields, guidance with such policies will help you avoid complications with your plans.

Businesses typically ask law firms to help with H-1B visa applications, a requirement for non-immigrant professionals seeking employment in the US. But firms like Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. point out that the framework of H-1B visas, particularly in Utah, are intricate given the multiple considerations it requires and present immigration laws.

USCIS Suspends Processing for H-1B Petitions

Perhaps adding to the complication is a recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announcement. The USCIS temporarily suspended the premium processing of H-1B visas, which may put many businesses, especially those in the IT industry, in a precarious situation.

The suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed after April 3, 2017. While the agency says it will last for at least six months, companies that rely on foreign labor may feel the impact long after the agency lifts the suspension.

Why is there a need for a suspension? The USCIS states that it is currently unable to process petitions because it aims to reduce overall processing times.

The Importance of H-1B Visas for IT Companies

The work visa program heavily impacts the tech industry because it brings thousands of highly-skilled workers into the US annually. How can businesses cope with the current immigration policies bringing new challenges to work visas?

With IT jobs in high demand, companies will need legal assistance to manage the current situation. The complexities of work visa application mean employers need guidance in taking specific hiring measures when it comes to specialized foreign labor. Rejected petitions are likely to affect a business’s operations, and possibly its bottom line.

A variety of bills in Congress are seeking to modify the H-1B program. One such bill may replace the lottery-based system and give more opportunities to foreign students educated in America. If passed, it would mean new hiring strategies for companies.

Fortunately, businesses can look to legal expertise to help them keep up with changes, and potentially avoid complications.

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