A Shot Across the Bow for H-1B Workers

In a move sure to upset many in the tech industry, the Trump administration has temporarily suspended the expedited processing of H-1B visas for a period of six months. H-1B visas are often used to bring in programmers and other technical personnel from overseas, and have been both heavily oversubscribed and heavily criticized in recent years.
It’s a little difficult to determine how much of an impact the delay in processing (from 15 days to three to six months) will have right now. On one hand, many of the applications received in April 2017 can’t begin work until the new government fiscal year begins on October 1, 2017 anyway. On the other, businesses who depend on H-1B workers skills will be reluctant to pin their business’s plans on a worker whose status won’t be known until well into the summer months. One thing is certain – US tech companies who are dependent on H-1B should start considering alternatives, since this is not likely to be the last attempt by Trump and the Republican Congress to limit the use (and abuse) of H-1B visas.