USCIS Announces Potential Changes in U.S. Business Immigration Law

What changes are coming to the H-1B visa process?

The field of immigration law has been in a state of flux since President Trump took office.  Several new laws are expected to go into effect this coming year.  Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced several new and potential changes to immigration law that could greatly impact individuals seeking legal entry or legal status in our country. Our  U.S. immigration lawyers at NPZ Law Group discuss the proposed upcoming legal changes and what they may mean for you or your prospective H-1B employees.

H-1B Visas To Become Scarcer

H-1B visas allow employers to hire highly-educated foreigners to work in specialty occupations.  Employers in tech fields, engineering, mathematics, and other industries requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher in education will often utilize H-1B visas.  Visas will typically last for three years, with the option to extend.

The Trump Administration has pronounced an agenda of “Buy American and Hire American.” In line with this ideal, the USCIS is seeking to alter the cap on H-1B visas and change the lottery process.  Changes in the H-1B cap are intended to ensure that a greater percentage of H-1B visas are awarded to immigrants with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution or foreign equivalent.  Details as to the changes to come are not yet available, but the USCIS has said alterations are slated to take effect as of April of 2019. One potential change is a possible pre-registration process.

Additionally, the USCIS has proposed changes in the nonimmigrant visa classification program.  Changes would revise the definition of a specialty occupation, with the goal of obtaining the most qualified applicants to the H-1B visa program. Further, the new law that is likely to be proposal would help to ensure H-1B visa recipients are paid a fair wage. For example, one particular change that has been bandied-about is that the government proposes the prevailing wage as opposed to the employers doing so.

H-4 Dependent Spouses May No Longer Legally Work in the U.S.

Currently, H-4 visa holders, who are dependent spouses can receive authorization to live and work in the U.S. with their family member.  Now, the USCIS is aiming to remove H-4 dependent spouses from the category of aliens eligible for employment.  This decision is in line with the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, and is thought to provide Americans with a better chance of employment. However, the number of persons that are effected here is only about 100,000 or so.

These are just a few of the many upcoming legal changes that could impact immigrants nationwide.  If you should have any questions or concerns about the ways in which these and other immigration law changes could affect you or a loved one, contact our experienced immigration lawyers at NPZ Law Group, P.C.  Our firm offers unmatched levels of client satisfaction and attorneys who want above all else to see your immigration issues resolved.

If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at