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Challenges on the rise for H-1B visas

People who want to come to Florida from other countries to work on an H-1B visa may face additional scrutiny under the Trump administration. Data shows that the administration is issuing more challenges to visas than during the Obama presidency.

Between Jan. 1 and August 31, there was a 45 percent increase in challenges to visa applications compared to the same period in 2016. However, the number of visa applications only rose 3 percent. The only year that there were a similar number of challenges during the Obama administration was in 2009. The challenges can delay the issuance of a visa by months.

H-1B visa holders generally have at least a bachelor's degree and work in technology, education or health care. The visas are generally good for three years. Many of the challenges say that the positions should have a higher salary attached or do not fit under the definition of specialty jobs. While immigration attorneys have complained for a number of years about delays and challenges to the visas, some believe that the Trump administration may be deliberately trying to slow the program down in the absence of Congressional action.

With immigration law subject to change and greater enforcement happening in some areas under the Trump administration, people who wish to live, work or study in the United States might want to speak to an immigration attorney. The process may differ greatly depending on a person's skills, education, family already in the country and status in their home country. For example, people who face persecution in their home country on the basis of protected characteristics such as religion may be eligible for political asylum.

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