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Florida analysts: Employment immigration changes on horizon

Troubling reports from the Trump transition team seem to indicate an impending shift in the way worker visas are handled in Florida and other states. The reports indicate that employment immigration tools, including H-1B visas, may be more difficult to obtain in the near future. This could mean a reduction in the number of visas that are granted, and perhaps a longer process that involves more intensive background checks.

Official reports show that the H-1B visas are particularly popular among technically skilled workers who come to the United States to fill specific talent gaps. Many of these employees get a work visa after obtaining an advanced degree from an American university. Any changes to the program could affect up to 85,000 temporary workers and other worker visa recipients.

Although experts anticipate changes to the H-1B program, many say they do not believe that it will be entirely scrapped. Instead, some outsourcing firms and other companies that are engaged in widespread hiring foreign workers may be targeted for more scrutiny -- generally meaning more audits. Furthermore, potential employees looking to obtain a work visa after receiving an American education could be affected, as policy analysts foresee changes to the J-1 and other related visa programs.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen whether any major overhauls are in store for the employment immigration system in the United States. However, taking preventive steps may help you in case the system increases in complexity or institutes additional barriers. Temporary workers and other visa users may benefit from consulting with an attorney in advance, just to make sure their visa status is properly managed. With the help of a qualified immigration attorney, you can lower your chances of facing serious challenges if the visa laws do happen to change.

Source: Miami Herald, "Employers should start preparing for tougher U.S. immigration laws," Hector Chichoni, Jan. 08, 2017

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