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Trump Executive Order Calls for Reforms to H-1B Visa Rules

In a recent executive order, US President Donald Trump ordered his cabinet secretaries to suggest reforms to the H-1B visa program to help ensure that “H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.” While the executive order does not include any specific reform proposals for the H-1B program, remarks by an administration official suggest that reform efforts will focus on preventing foreign workers from undercutting American labor at less cost, which the official characterized as “abuse” of the system.

As we noted in a recent post, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7 that it had reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018), and had also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa cap for the US advanced degree exemption. The total number of FY 2018 petitions the agency had received was 199,000, a significant reduction from previous years. This year, as in past years, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions for processing to meet the visa caps.

Immigration-related developments under the Trump administration will bring challenges to technology industry employers, but could bring new opportunities as well.

Copyright © 2019 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.

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About this Author

Peter Watt-Morse, Morgan Lewis, Intellectual property lawyer
Partner

Peter M. Watt-Morse, one of the founding partners of the firm’s Pittsburgh office, has worked on all forms of commercial and technology transactions for more than 30 years. Peter works on business and intellectual property (IP) matters for a broad range of clients, including software, hardware, networking, and other technology clients, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers and payors, and other clients in the life science industry. He also represents banks, investment advisers, and other financial services institutions.

412-560-3320
Glen Rectenwald, Morgan Lewis, Technology Attorney
Associate

Glen W. Rectenwald focuses his practice on technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions. He regularly assists a broad range of clients with development, licensing, and distribution agreements; strategic alliances and joint ventures; manufacturing and supply agreements; complex outsourcing and strategic commercial transactions; and general commercial matters. Glen’s experience also includes mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, and general corporate matters.

412-560-7413