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How will H-1B visa reform affect employment immigration?

Members of the workforce in British Columbia and other provinces and territories in Canada who want to seek employment in the United States are closely watching the U.S. H-1B visa reform. The new U.S. administration is seeking to overhaul visa programs for employment immigration of foreign workers into the United States. Up to now, thousands of employees from other countries have secured positions at tech companies.

Currently, U.S. companies who cannot find local workers who are qualified for specified jobs employ highly-skilled foreign workers. The H-1B visa program allows 85,000 employees from other countries every year. Those against employment immigration claim U.S. workers are denied available jobs, while others believe the loss of the ability to source highly skilled foreign workers can be detrimental to tech development in the United States.

Reportedly, highly educated students who studied at universities in other countries hold a significant percentage of the annual H-1B visa allocation. Companies that seek the services of exceptional talent include large corporations like Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and Amazon. These skilled employees are used in their technology departments. However, allegations of companies abusing the H-1B visa program to maintain low-paid workforces are rampant.

Much speculation about the ways in which employment immigration will be affected under the reformed H-1B visa program is reported. Until the finalisation of new legislation, workers from British Columbia who have job offers in the United States might be wise to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. Such a professional will be informed about the latest applicable laws and can provide skilled guidance to ease the H-1B visa applications and other procedures required for smooth transfer into the United States.

Source:, “Tracking Workplace Immigration Issues”, Mia Mancini, Feb. 15, 2017