Many companies are wondering what changes are likely to happen in immigration with the new Administration. We have seen dramatic proposals for border security and interior enforcement, but what about business immigration?
Importantly, business immigration is governed by regulation and statute and therefore change takes time. But President Trump was elected in part on a campaign promise to protect American jobs, and we expect changes that will make sponsoring a foreign employee more difficult. In addition, there appears to be bipartisan support for limiting the outsourcing of jobs to foreign workers.
What’s on the horizon? We expect changes to the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, making both more restrictive and less amenable to offsite placement. We are also concerned about changes to NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) that may reduce TN eligibility. Additional restrictions on the green card process may be proposed, and we expect an increase in compliance and enforcement efforts by the government.
It is, of course, not possible to know for sure what changes will be made. However, we expect the future business immigration landscape to be less open than it is today. An employer considering immigration sponsorship for existing employees is well advised to consider taking advantage of the existing, and likely more favorable, regulatory structure.