In the next week or two, lawmakers are expected to reveal a new immigration bill. For many undocumented immigrants who are anxiously awaiting their future, the bill could provide immense relief. If approved, many of those undocumented immigrants would over time have a clear path to citizenship.
The future is a lot murkier, however, for temporary visa holders, including those who have (or want) an H-1B visa.
Prior changes to immigration policies are still causing consequences
The “Buy American, Hire American” initiatives put into place over the previous presidential administration make it much more difficult — and costly — for employers to hire foreign job applicants. This is true no matter how badly their skills might be needed in their industry.
Records show that roughly 25% of H-1B visa applications were denied in 2018 and 2019. Prior to that time, denial rates were no more than 5% to 10% per year.
The proposed bill does offer better opportunities for foreign-born students who graduate from U.S. schools with certain degrees to stay here. There are also provisions that would give protection to the children of those who hold H-1B visas from being forced to return to their homelands at a certain age even while their parents are waiting on their green cards.
The bill does not do much to improve the situation for new H-1B applicants, or the industries and businesses that hope to hire immigrants with special skills through that visa program.
More than ever, it’s important get your visa application right
While immigration issues may be headed in the right direction, there are still a lot of changes happening. To stay abreast of how these changes can affect your life and your family, it’s wise to work with an immigration attorney at all times.