Filling specialty occupation jobs is not always easy, especially since they usually require very specific qualifications. Employment immigration helps employers hire the most qualified candidates even if they are living outside of the United States. There are many individuals living in Louisiana who originally came to America to work in specialty occupations. But the process they used to get their visas will soon be much harder.
In March 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to start using an electronic registration for H-1B visas. The annual lottery for all 65,000 visas will take place the following month. Employers might like the idea of submitting applications electronically, but it could actually be a bad thing. The new system requires employers to only submit minimal information on their professionals. Since the process will be easier, the percentage of approved petitions is expected to decline for the fourth year in a row.
USCIS is also changing a number of H-1B visa rules. The agency announced that it is revising how a specialty occupation is defined. The definitions for employer-employee relationships and employment in general are also going to change. Experts believe that the revised rules will be more restrictive.
U.S. companies frequently rely on foreign nationals when hiring for specialty occupation positions. Since these occupations are often focused on niche interests and knowledge, finding the right person can be exceptionally difficult. This is particularly true when employers feel limited to only hiring Louisiana residents. Since it seems likely that the landscape of employment immigration is changing, companies that rely on foreign workers may want to speak with an attorney about all possible options.