The current state of U.S. immigration policy

Keeping up with U.S. immigration policy can be difficult, and it can cause stress for anyone seeking employment in the country. You may have heard different news stories or rumors, and they may or may not be relevant for an employment-based immigrant.

The Pew Research Center put together a list of key facts about current immigration policy and proposed changes. Here are the relevant points for those seeking employment-based visas:

  • Recommending a points-based plan: The Trump administration proposed a points-based system for green card applicants, granting cards to immigrants who meet education, age and English-speaking requirements.
  • Employment-based green cards may increase: The points-based plan is expected to increase green card approval for immigrants with certain skills.
  • Investors could be denied visas: The plan would eliminate the EB-5 program, which allows immigrants who invest in certain commercial enterprises in the U.S. to apply for a visa.
  • H-1B visa rules may tighten: H-1B visas accounted for almost a quarter of all employment-based temporary visas in 2017. Since 2007, the U.S. issued more than 1.6 million H-1B visas. The denial rate for these visas have increased in 2019, but more H-1B visas have been awarded to immigrants with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. The new proposal would restrict work permits for H-1B holders’ spouses.

While the new plan could benefit some workers, other workers could face new challenges obtaining residency in the U.S. Anyone who is concerned about gaining, maintaining or losing their immigration status in the U.S. can work with an advocate to establish their best path forward. 

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