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H-1B employment immigration visa faces new challenges

Louisiana companies rely on both domestic and foreign workers to fill available positions and complete their workforces. Immigrants bring a lot to the table in terms of specialized skills and play an important role in the economy. But increased scrutiny on employment immigration could make an already long process more difficult.

Tech companies frequently use the H-1B visa program to recruit workers for highly specialized job positions. Since the technology industry generally deals with complicated and niche products, it might make sense to look in places other than America when hiring. However, some people believe that large tech companies are not doing enough to hire domestic workers and are instead abusing this particular visa. That misguided belief has resulted in higher denial rates for H-1B petitions from tech companies like IBM and Google. For most of the 2019 fiscal year, 30% of petitions from 12 companies providing IT or professional services were denied.

Policy change should make family immigration easier

Bringing loved ones to the United States is one benefit of being either a citizen or permanent resident. Family immigration is important for reuniting loved ones, especially spouses who are not able to live in the same country. While sponsoring a spouse's immigration to Louisiana has worked pretty well in the past, it might be much easier moving forward.

A person has to get a green card before he or she can travel to the U.S. to live with a spouse. However, green cards issued to these individuals are conditional. The green cards expire after two years, at which time the couple must have to prove that their marriage is valid and not just a way to help another person immigrate.

Former immigration officer struggling with U.S. immigration law

Undocumented immigrants who were brought to Louisiana as children have to deal with many different barriers throughout their lives. There are not many options under U.S. immigration law for these people, even though many do not remember ever living anywhere else. The situation can be even more complicated for people who do not find out they are undocumented until adulthood.

After living in the country for nearly 50 years, a veteran of the U.S. Navy recently discovery that he is not an American citizen. This discovery did not come to light during his military service, during which time he deployed on five separate occasions. It was not even uncovered during the past 20 years he working in U.S. Customs and Border Protection -- CBP -- as an immigration officer.

Proposed US immigration law would help agricultural workers

Growing enough food to feed everyone in America is a challenge. Farmers have to plant the right amount of crops, water them correctly and protect their hard work from pests. These are very physical tasks, and the people who help grow and harvest food have to work very hard each and every day. The farming industry in Louisiana and across the rest of America rely on undocumented immigrants to take on these jobs. A proposed change to U.S. immigration law could give undocumented farm workers a better opportunity to gain legal status.

The farming industry has a long history of hiring foreign-born workers. In the 1940s alone, millions of Mexican citizens helped care for U.S. farms and played a major role in agriculture. There were also a lot of immigrant farm workers in the 1990s, but their numbers have been decreasing since 2008. Younger Americans are less likely to fill these types of jobs, and agricultural employers cannot replace their older workers who are no longer able to work.

How can I use family immigration for my loved one?

Living near family is very important to a lot of people, but it is not always easy. United States citizens or green card holders might miss their loved ones who live in different countries. With family immigration, it is possible to help a family member establish permanent residency in Louisiana.

If a person is already a U.S. citizen, he or she can petition for a spouse, children younger than 21, parents, unmarried or married children older than 21, grandchildren, siblings and siblings' spouses. This is in the order of who will receive priority when immigration officials are considering petitions. This means that a spouse will be a higher priority than a grandchild or sibling. A person who has a green card can only petition for his or her spouse, children younger than 21 and unmarried children older than 21. These are just two of the several options for applicants who are either in another country or who come to the United States legally.

US immigration law: Will new initiative include asylum seekers?

The federal government is reportedly planning to launch a new initiative that may affect Louisiana residents who have immigrant family members. U.S. immigration law is complex and often changes, so it is difficult to stay updated on new laws, policies and initiatives, even if one is well-versed in immigration issues. The new regulation would require people who are detained after entering the United States between official points of entry to submit DNA samples. It is meant to apply to anyone who enters the country without proper immigration documentation.

The samples would be acquired through a cheek swab, and information would be entered into a national database. This database is regularly accessed by the FBI and other agencies as a means of searching criminal histories. The problem is that many of the immigrants who would be submitting DNA samples are people who have never been convicted of any crime.

Employment immigration for university and college teachers

Louisiana colleges and universities are almost always on the hunt for exceptional teachers. When these institutions are unable to find candidates in the United States who are qualified for these positions, they frequently turn to applicants who are foreign nationals. If you were hired to fill one of these positions, your employer will need to submit a permanent labor certification application. Since there are strict deadlines for employment immigration applications, you should understand the timeline that the university or college must work within.

You were likely selected for a faculty position for one of two reasons. If no qualified U.S. workers applied for the job, the university was permitted to hire a foreign national instead. Even if qualified workers in the United States applied, you could have been selected because you were more qualified than anyone else. Like other teachers who travel to this country for positions at institutes of higher learning, you probably fall under nonimmigrant status.

African immigrants doing well despite US immigration law barriers

The news is doing a pretty good job of painting a grim picture when it comes to immigration. Some people in Louisiana might think that everyone hoping to come to the United States is facing unimaginable barriers. Even though U.S. immigration law can be complicated, this is not true. For example, immigrants from Africa are now the fastest growing population of immigrants.

Information from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that immigration from the continent of Africa grew 50% between 2010 and 2018. It was not a steady growth either. A lot of that increase is from just the past several years. This rapid rise in immigration rates is also much higher than the increase in rates from South America, the Caribbean and Asia.

Change to US immigration law requires health care coverage

The cost of health care in the United States can be quite steep. Even with insurance, many patients struggle to pay both monthly premiums and medical bills from seeing the doctor. Still, most people can receive excellent care across the country. A recent change to U.S. immigration law could make some of that care inaccessible by barring certain individuals from obtaining visas or even entering the country.

Within 30 days of arriving in the United States, immigrants will need to prove that they will be getting health insurance or that they have enough money to cover their own medical expenses. Those who support this change believe that it will cut down on how much U.S. citizens will have to pay in taxes and medical bills. However, there is not a uniform procedure for deciding whether a person can meet the requirement. This means that each individual consular officer in Louisiana can interpret the information differently.

Employment immigration can be a long waiting game

It can feel like a lot of time passes between submitting a green card application and receiving a decision. For a person pursuing employment immigration from one of two countries, that feeling can be very accurate, especially when it takes years before he or she can even apply for a green card. Although lawmakers recently tried to change the system that puts nationals of certain countries at a disadvantage, they were unable to do so.

Every year, there are approximately 675,000 green cards are available to foreign nationals not already living in the United States. Of those, only 140,000 are set aside for immigrants who are seeking employment in the U.S. Many of the employers in Louisiana and elsewhere who are hiring foreign workers are looking for high-skilled immigrants, particularly those who can work in the tech industry. However, some of the people who are most well-suited for these positions are facing enormous wait times.