The H-1B visa program provides for the issuance of non-immigrant visas that allow US employers to temporarily hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. The number of annual visa recipients is capped – at 85,000 total workers for 2017 – and, as a result, applicants apply for visas via an annual lottery.
In April 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order generally instructing the agencies overseeing the H-1B visa program “to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries,” without providing additional guidance. President Trump previously has been critical of H-1B visa program. At this time, it is unclear what the effect (if any) the recent Executive Order will have on the H-1B visa program.
Separately, effective 22 January 2017, employers are required to use an updated Form I-9 in connection with verifying employee’s authorization to work in the United Sates. The updated Form I-9 can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9. An employer’s failure to use and retain this form may result in statutory penalties.