Although the administration has not made any changes to the H-1B program so far, it is internally trying to discourage the work-visa through increased scrutiny and delays.
As Trump administration steps up scrutiny of work visa applications for foreign workers especially those in IT, some Massachusetts businesses and institutions are bearing the delay to fill the job positions, Boston Globe reported on Wednesday.
Reportedly, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is cross-checking the work-requirements of more applicants compared to previous years, pushing companies to file more supporting documents for the H-1B petitions. Furthermore, the companies need to prove that the nonimmigrant foreign worker will be paid at par with the skill-set.
The report also highlighted that first eight months of 2017 witnessed more RFEs (Request For Evidence) on the work petitions when compared with the past eight years. In comparison to the same period in 2016, the current year had a 45 percent increase in RFEs.
Attorney Prasant D. Desai from Iandoli Desai & Cronin, a Boston-based law firm that processes H-1B visas for academic institutions and companies, said that the pace at which the administration has introduced the delay-tactics is extraordinary.
“They’re going at every part of the program, really,” Desai said. “I think the immigration practitioners like myself knew this was going to happen. It’s just that the speed at which it is happening is a little breathtaking.”
The write-up notes that although the current administration has come down heavily on immigration, it has not introduced many changes to the H-1B program. But, it is definitely trying to tweak the program from within, for instance, through ‘Buy American, Hire American’ agenda. Another step has been to increase the scrutiny through interviews. Interviews are now done not only in new applications but also in applications requesting extensions.
The Globe also reported that experts view that some of the RFEs and rigorous reviews serve no purpose than to delay the visa processing time.