Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

Ashley Dees LLC is now Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Please visit www.bal.com for more information.

Visa Criteria for Foreign Workers Under Scrutiny

President Trump’s "Buy American Hire American" (BAHA) executive order has resulted in major changes to the criteria used to determine if foreign workers are eligible for visas. Under the Trump administration’s "Hire American" policy, executive agencies have been ordered to issue new rules and policy changes that will affect how cases are processed for foreign workers trying to come to the United States.

In March 2017, USCIS issued a policy memorandum that stated “computer programmer" would no longer be considered "specialty occupation.” Requests for Evidence (RFE) are also increasing for all types of H-1B Petitions, L-1 Petitions, and all other non-immigrant worker categories. According to reports, applicants with valid qualifications received requests for evidence or a generalized letter of denial. The Trump Administration has particularly targeted the H-1B and L-1 programs. Reports show that RFEs have been issued at an unprecedented rate for these cases.

Below are examples of how USCIS has increased scrutiny and the level of requirements for non-immigrant and immigrant visas:

  • “Wage Level I" designation prevents a job from being a specialty occupation
  • The degree is not directly related to the specialty occupation position
  • The knowledge or experience is not specialized knowledge
  • The duties for managers and executives do not qualify as manager or executive duties for L-1A purposes
  • The degree is not related to the TN category
  • The TN duties listed by employer do not qualify for the TN category
  • Arbitrary and subjective review of evidence submitted for extraordinary O-1 and EB-1 cases
  • The job being the same or similar for PERM based I-140 and I-485 cases

Because employment-based immigration is being scrutinized so heavily by immigration agencies, it is more difficult to qualify for employment-based visas from USCIS. For example, I-485 processing for employment cases also includes a required interview for the beneficiary and their family. Decisions for these cases are based on approved PERM cases and I-140's that were turned in years ago. Since the I-140's are so old, the conditions of employment for the beneficiary have changed, which can cause issues during the interview.

Speak to an Immigration Attorney in Lake Charles

Do you need help with your H-1B or L-1 petition? Was your I-485 case denied? If so, it is crucial that you get help from an experienced immigration attorney. At Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, we are committed to helping clients resolve their immigration matters. Our lawyers are here to guide you through the legal process and answer your questions and concerns. We have the skills and resources that you need to obtain a fair result. Let us get to work for you today.

Call (337) 214-0670 to schedule your consultation with a Lousiana immigration lawyer.