The recently signed economic stimulus package (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) contains a provision (referred to as ``The Employ American Workers Act``) strictly regulating the hiring of foreign national workers by employers who receive funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).
TARP is a federal program initiated in 2008 to help stabilize certain financial institutions. The Employ American Workers Act requires employers who receive TARP funding to comply with the rules normally geared towards H-1B dependent employers (i.e., those employers whose workforce is heavily dependent on H-1B visa category employees, as defined by statute). Importantly, affected employers will have to attest that none of their U.S. workers were displaced by an H-1B worker during the period of 90 days before and 90 days after the filing of the H-1B visa petition with the U.S. immigration service.
In the current economic climate, many employers who have specialty positions to fill may find themselves unable to utilize the H-1B program to attract and hire foreign professionals to meet its business needs. Employers are encouraged to contact immigration counsel to discuss their H-1B programs and alternative planning