United States: What Will U.S. Business Immigration Look Like Under A Trump Administration?

Last Updated: November 19 2016
Article by Maria Mejia-Opaciuch

More than 10 days have passed since the election results were revealed, and the United States now has a businessman as its president-elect ready to take office on January 20, 2017. However, despite his business background, it appears that the Trump administration will be equally hard on legal business immigration as on illegal immigration. President-elect Trump's campaign speeches and his position paper on immigration shed light on how his vision regarding immigration will impact employers with a foreign national workforce. Below are some of the pertinent temporary work visas, inspections procedures and immigration control practices that may be impacted when the Trump administration is in place, as well as a brief discussion about the longer delays expected for foreign workers traveling to the United States for short-term business reasons or to work and study.

F-1 Students and Optional Practical Training (OPT )

President-elect Trump has called for more stringent vetting of foreign nationals seeking to enter on either temporary work or student visas, or those seeking green cards. In addition, he wants to suspend the issuance of visas from countries where there is no screening process until proven and effective vetting mechanisms are implemented, particularly from regions that export terrorism. Given this possible delay or suspension, it is key for foreigners seeking to work or study in the United States to apply for the F-1 student visa before the new administration is in place. Further, there is a strong possibility that the generous regulations extending OPT to students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines be repealed or scaled back considerably. This is due to the Trump administration's call for new immigration controls that would boost wages and ensure open jobs are offered to Americans first. The STEM OPT program requires employers to participate in E-Verify, an internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to confirm employment eligibility. President-elect Trump and his key immigration team advisors are proponents of E-Verify and support the program's expansion to all employers. As such, STEM OPT may remain in effect for some time.

TN, E-3, and H-1B1 Visas – Free Trade Agreement Visas

President-elect Trump has indicated he would seek to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and similar trade agreements, many of which include streamlined immigration provisions allowing professionals to work in the United States under visa classifications defined in the agreements. Employers should review their foreign workforce and gather requisite data to possibly convert TNs (Canadian or Mexican), E-3s (Australian) and H-1B1s (Singaporean or Chilean) to either an H-1B visa or commence the permanent residence (green card) process. It is unlikely that the renegotiation of, or withdrawal from, any of the trade agreements will occur immediately after President-elect Trump assumes office. Employers will have time to review their workforce, consult with their immigration lawyers, and take necessary action to maintain their foreign workforce with little to no impact on the business.

H-1B Specialty Occupation Visas

President-elect Trump supports immigrants who are skilled, have merit and will succeed in the United States, and would favor reform of the H-1B program to eliminate "cheap labor." He may seek, through legislation, a more active recruitment process built into the existing H-1B regulations. He may pursue changing rules on H-1B-dependent employers (those employing 15 percent or more H-1B visa workers) and impose more stringent regulations on wages and salaries paid to H-1B employees, possibly increasing them to as much as $100,000. As part of his vision to protect the American worker, President-elect Trump may also conduct more audits of H-1B employers. Increases in enforcement and H-1B salaries may encourage employers to ship offshore the IT and engineering work currently performed under H-1Bs, which would be counter-productive. H-1B visa reform will, in all likelihood, make certain IT projects too expensive to remain in the United States. If there are no U.S. workers available to handle the projects, the work may be outsourced overseas, or the industry may be forced to automate, as the auto industry did. This is an excellent time for employers to review their H-1B and public access files and ensure all is in order, as more audits of H-1B employers are anticipated.

Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival (DACA)

While the 725,000 or so DACA registrants in the United States may not be affected immediately when President-elect Trump takes office, it seems certain that the executive order implementing DACA will be terminated, and those with employment authorization document (EAD) cards will not have an opportunity to renew their work permits, which would impact employers. It is a good time for employers to review their foreign workforce and I-9 records to review who has time-limited EAD cards, and be prepared for the possibility that some EAD cards will not be renewed if DACA is terminated. Revocation of this program will likely take some time, but preparation is key to minimizing the disruption of the employer's workflow.

Travel to the United States: A Fully Operational Biometric Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System

The Trump administration will implement a biometric entry and exit system at all land, air and sea ports. This system is No. eight on the president-elect's 10-Point Plan to Put America First. Statistics show that approximately half of the new illegal immigrants enter the United States on a valid visa and then overstay. President-elect Trump plans to combat that practice by strictly enforcing visa expiration dates. It remains to be seen how this priority will be implemented (by legislation or regulation), but strict oversight on visa expirations are anticipated, given the advisors President-elect Trump has enlisted to develop his administration's immigration policy.

Increased Worksite Enforcement, Mandatory E-Verify and Visa Compliance

President-elect Trump has clearly stated that his top priority is to build a wall on the southern border and keep illegal immigration to a minimum by immediately removing those who enter illegally or detaining them until removed. He wants to end the existing "catch and release" program in existence today. Such enforcement-centric policies may result in tangential worksite initiatives by the U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) resulting in increased onsite inspections of I-9 forms. President-elect Trump's promise to deport millions suggests that employers should be proactive and review existing I-9 and E-Verify compliance programs, or implement I-9 and visa-related compliance initiatives, to ensure they are ready for any possible ICE investigations or audits. Further, it is likely that mandatory E-Verify participation by all employers will be proposed. Employers should consider conducting voluntary internal audits now to limit or eliminate potential fines in the event of an ICE investigation or audit.

It is important to note that the president-elect cannot change the existing immigration laws found in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) unless Congress amends the INA, and President-elect Trump signs it. This will take a considerable amount of time and cooperation between Congress and the president. He can, however, change policies or executive orders, such as the DACA program, without the involvement of Congress.

Many of these changes are speculative and yet, it is clear that changes in the above visa classes will take effect in 2017. Carlton Fields' immigration practice group will monitor these upcoming changes

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions