Yesterday, President Trump signed a new Executive Order, "
Buy American and Hire American
." In the "Hire American" portion of the order, Trump announced he was directing the various agencies to review the current laws governing the H-1B program and suggest changes to prioritize the most skilled and highest paid positions. The President also directed Federal agencies to review all nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs and propose new rules and guidance to crack down on fraud and abuse in order to protect U.S. workers.
While much has been made of Trump making changes to the H-1B program, the Executive Order will actually have no immediate impact on H-1Bs. Many of the changes to the H-1B program contemplated by the Administration would require Congressional or regulatory action and would take time to go through the necessary processes.
Many H-1B reform bills are proposed in Congress each year, but so far none have come to a vote. Our office will, of course, continue monitoring the legislative and regulatory situation and will notify our clients when actual changes may be imminent. In the meantime, eligible employers may continue to file H-1B petitions which are not subject to the annual cap.