Noncompliance with immigration laws is one of the most significant and common issues faced by employers in the U.S. today. Employers must brace themselves for audits and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigations with the Trump administration making its move against illegal immigrants. This move urges employers to always be compliant with I-9 regulations.
In the past few years, the H-1B visa program and immigration enforcement efforts continued, albeit numerous policy adjustments and regulation changes. Some of the recent updates in this area of law include the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulation to remove H-1B visa lottery and replace it with salary-based selection, as well as the latest wage rule released by Department of Labor (DOL) for H1-B workers and employment-based immigrants. Thus, it is vital for companies and businesses to stay on guard of the latest developments to successfully address the emerging legal challenges and risks.
In June 2020, the U.S. government suspended the issuance of new employment-based nonimmigrant visas and green cards for the rest of the year. Aimed at protecting U.S. citizens’ health and jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension covers nonimmigrants in the H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-1 visa categories as well as their dependents.
The recent years have seen an evolving immigration law landscape in the U.S. Of notable significance is the drop of H-1B and L-1 visa approvals following the "Buy American, Hire American" executive order in April 2017. Changes may still come into view as revisions to the key features of the said visa programs are expected to take place this year.