On April 18, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) titled, “Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American.” This alert focuses solely on the “Hire American” immigration aspects of this order.

The EO asks four government departments (Labor, Homeland Security, State and Justice) to review policies related to all visa programs and recommend changes to root out "fraud and abuse" and to propose additional reforms so H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants.

It is important to note that at this time no changes to the current law, regulations, or policy guidance have been made. If the above-mentioned agencies determine that changes should be made, most changes will require legislative action by Congress and/or lengthy rule changes via the Administrative Procedure Act. At this point, the EO is merely an indication of the White House’s focus on immigration but ultimately does not have any impact on any visa programs.