There has been so much confusion and chaos in the lives of many internationals living in US either on Green card or any other visa status with the recent executive order signed by President Trump on temporary ban on internationals from certain countries and certain background. This executive order signed matched word to word on the set of leaked Executive orders that were posted on Vox website on Jan 25th. Many news agencies picked up on these memos, especially the one that says “Executive Order on Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs“ and started to write speculating that new Executive orders are on the way to limit Employment Based Immigration. There are some others speculations based on the bills introduced to tighten H1B and L1 programs. We will try to summarize whats floating around all over news websites and blogs.
[alert type=”warning” close=”true” heading=”Disclaimer”] To clarify, as of today ( Jan 31st, 2017), nothing has been signed by President Trump. This leaked memo is NOT officially confirmed and NOT Signed. It is pure speculation at this point and written to help our readers be informed on whats happening. [/alert]
Summary of H1B, L1, STEM OPT, H4 EAD related Changes in Leaked Trump’s Executive Orders :
- Context : The context of the Executive Order draft is mentioned that the main driver for illegal immigration in US is due to the Jobs and benefits. It claims that if the jobs attractiveness is eliminated it will reduce illegal immigration and visa overstays.
- What’s the Goal : The goal of the Executive order is to design immigration policies that are in US national interest and have foreign worker visa programs that protect the civil rights of american workers & lawful residents and prioritizes them. The foreign visas that are mentioned refer to B1, E2, H1B, H2A, J1, L1
- Employment Based Work Visa Programs :
- It says generic statements like “within 90 days all the foreign work visa program must be examined to see, if they are in US national interest or not and should be revoked/cancelled, if not. Also, propose/ issue a notice for comments to new rule as needed”
- It says that existing parole policies to be terminated that are used to circumvent the statutory immigration policy to enter US. It does not explicitly talk about what parole.
- It says that new notice and comment for regulation should be done by working with DOL and Secretary to restore the integrity of current employment based non-immigrant worker visa programs to protect US and Foreign workers affected
- Also, the secretary of labor shall to do investigation on how much US workers are hurt by Foreign workers( H1B, L1 and B1) on work visa programs either directly or indirectly and submit such detail report in 18 months to president. Also, an interim report in 9 months on the same
- H1B Visa Program : Regarding H1Bs, it says very generic on better ways to allocate them and the beneficiaries of H1B are best and brightest. Does not talk about wage increase or anything here like changes to lottery system, etc.
- L1 Visa Program : stresses that within 180 days more site visits need to be done and talk about expanding the site visits program for other work visas as well.
- Better Immigration Policies Committee: It also recommends that within 1 year a committee is setup to review overall US immigration policies and see, if they are impacting US workers, society, etc and make sure they are in national interest and recommend changes to be done.
- STEM OPT , CPT Programs : There are no specifics except notes that says to review and propose reform to practical training programs so ensure that it will help US students and make sure they are in compliance. No talk on cancellation or removal completely.
- B1 Business Visa : To propose notice and comment a regulation to clarify what is not permissible on business visa and enforce no work is done in such visas either skilled or unskilled work. (This is to address abuse of B1 visa.)
- H2-A , E-Verify, J1 Summer work : within 90 days submit options for proper use of H2A visa and also submit options to encourage more employers to be in E-Verify. Also propose notice to reform J-1 summer work to protect US workers.
- Immigrant Visas :Report to congress on when immigrant visas will be immediately available and propose notice and regulation to reduce inefficiencies on how these visas are allocated.
- E2 Investor visa : Propose Notice to reform E2 Investor visa so that it conforms to immigration laws.
- Reports for Transparency : To be transparent Secretary of Homeland Security should publish report every 6 months and yearly on details such as Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) like new EADs issues and category of EAD. Also, reports like total foreign born persons who are authorized to work in US, non-immigrant status visa holders, etc. every 6 months. Similarly some other reports by US Census Bureau, etc.
- Raising minimum wage to 130,000 USD : This is not mentioned in the leaked executive order draft, it is from another H1B Bill introduced in House and totally interpreted wrongly. Read more details on the summary of this H1B 130K bills, Confusion on Facts . We don’t even know if the above will be passed as it is…so too much speculation.
- H4 EAD : Also, there is no specific reference for the H4 visa holders EAD. There is a fear that it will be cancelled, etc. We have to wait and see, nothing can be done overnight by signing an executive order.
Whats the take away ? What we do not know is that, if the same Executive order draft text will appear or even the Executive order will be passed or changed. Whatever you see all over is pure speculation by news agencies. Also, most of the text is really vague and does not have any specifics on how some of these aspects will work. We will have to wait on the specifics…Also, President Trump’s power is limited with Executive Order option. He cannot just randomly cancel any rule that was legally formulated with rule making process and comment period, etc.
What are your thoughts ? Any other things that I have missed to speculate 😉
- VOX – Draft of 4 Leaked Memos by Trump
- Huffingtonpost – Trump to Order Crackdown on Visas
- CNN – Work visas may be Next on Trump Agenda
- Economic Times – Executive order to clampdown visas
Actual Leaked Executive Order Draft that was published by VOX :
100 of thousands of displaced americans have formed class action lawsuits
Against american ceos and india tech companies for discrimination and violation of us labor laws. The scheme is over. Americam it workers want the program ended. Stay and build your career in india!
Jack there are very much misunderstanding about Visas.
1.Talking about wages they are comparable with US citizens, Visa holder pay more taxes (They dont get any benefit of Social security).
2.Employers are smart They care about low cost labor. If USA stops visa program they will move companies to overseas.
3. So its more loss to USA (taxes/ Dependent business like Housing/ Services/Retails )than running Visa program.
4. If you are competent in Technical field I am sure nobody stays home. Don’t expect you don’t know coding and you will get S/W developer job
5. Majority Visa holder put more efforts than locals.
6. They pay visa fees and stay in legal terms. They are not illegals.
In most of the cases Visa program is not abused but if abused generally from South India (Telgu community) is major culprit.
currently i am looking for consultant who can sponsor my h1b visa. i am on h4 visa. so please let me know if any one know consultant who are still open for h1b visa sponsorship.
It looks like that Trump wants to change US within no time.
What do you think the impact will be on L1 visas? I work for an MNC in India and am considering an internal transfer to States on L1 visa. Are there any risks and what impact will the department of homeland site visits have on this visa program?
Should I opt for H1B or L1. I hear path to green card is quicker with L1 and I plan to continue with the same company for few years.
Which visa category is safer to opt for? I will be earning more than 130k. Thanks
They bill is trying to tighten the rule and reduce the abuse by have more site visits… It is too early to see what will happen as it will be pure speculation. We just have to wait and see…Each of them has their own merits and demerits and totally depends on your situation. L1A has faster path to Green card, you will have to make a choice based on your situation…If your employer do not break rules, either are fine, it is just too early to speculate the long term impact as we have nothing passed.
Awesome Kumar, great work.
I am planning to apply for fall 2017. My GRE is 305 and TOEFL is 96. My academic profile is not that good. I will get admits in the universities that lie in the range 100 to 200 ranks in US. Will my future be at stake if Trump’s policies on H1B are passed? Should I refrain from applying?
Some of queries in comment section are extremely silly. Article clearly states current situation , how bill is just introduced and not passed. So how does going to india or getting stamping be any different when rules remain same as of now. It is funny to see people freaked out at such level that they are asking questions that their common sense should answer.
Because Indian IT folk are fattus in general. From agreeing to order every suggestion the white waitress makes to them to having a mild heart-attack upon hearing the police siren go off when on the highway- the Indian IT babu is a MAJOR FATTU.
Has any other big companies like Infosys, TCS, Wipro and the likes started their H1B processing? I am worried that they wont process my H1B because of disruptions by the new administration.
And you work for all three of those sweatshops?
Has Infosys started H1B processing?
My situation is like this…I got my H1B petition approved and my employer has processed the LCA document and necessary things for stamping. I am planning to go for the stamping during the second week of Feb. Will there be any issue during the stamping interview since the mean salary is just 65000$ and that is fine in the Florida area as of now. Will they consider the new salary regulations.
Also another doubt i have is let’s assume if we are landing in US successfully, and the bill gets through, will the employer be able to place us in the client with the proper salary being proposed. Won’t that create chaos on the trade and other agreements between the employer, client and other vendor based models.
I am really confused on all these things. Please clarify
I am in the same situation, please let me know.
I am yet to complete my stamping, my company is planning on Feb or March Mid.
Nothing has been passed, there are no new salary regulations as of today. Do NOT worry too much. I just wrote an article clarifying 130K wage, read it. It is too early to speculate on what happens next…
All you india guys should build your own country and stop taking jobs from americans. The president doesnt need a review of the
Abuse of visa programmes,
Americans are getting replaced and this will stop.
Build your own country!
These jobs are not taken by Indians. These jobs are actively given to Indians on H1 / L1 slave visa by the AMERICAN managers to drive down wages. They get their quarterly bonuses and take credit for work done for cheap. Unless the connection between employer and visa isn’t broken there won’t be freedom of movement of labor. Big corporations would keep Indians / Chinese enslaved by promise of green card (at least 15 years of ordeal) and ensure cheap labor.
Americans need to hold /blame other Americans at executive level to exploit the phony immigration system that guarantees race to the bottom.
I have not been able to find an H1B sponsor yet. In the last month I was able to get couple of interview calls and proceeded further. There has been no reply since then, and other applications too are not heard back. Do you think they have stopped recruiting for some time until they get a clear picture on Trump’s policy? Is it too late to find a sponsor for April 2017 lottery?
Hi Nadeem ,
How are you getting the interview calls?
That’s really weird you got a interview calls for job in USA directly…
Ensure you are not in cheaters hand….
Hi Kumar, what will be the impact on L2 spouses? Will spouses of L1 visa holders get EAD going forward?
The leaked memo does not talk about L2 in specific…it should continue as it exists today…again, it is too much speculation now…
A quick question! I read somewhere that the minimum wage rule would be applicable only to the companies having more than 50% employees on H1 B. I work in a medical device industry where we have hardly 1-2% people on h1b. Does that mean the bill would not target people working in core fields? Maybe he intentionally created this bill to target the desi consultancies where 99% people are on H1b.
Yes you will not be impacted. And it is 15% not 50%. So even companies that have more than 15% will be impacted.
No, it will not impact as per bill. Read the latest article I wrote clarifying this.
I have a trip planned to India for tomorrow morning and returning on the 20th Feb. I am on an approved H1B visa with stamping valid until Aug 2018. Also I have my I 140 Approved.
I am currently working on an EVC (Employee Vendor Client) model. I have been talking to a few attorney’s and they have asked me to not travel if its not necessary. From the information that I have gathered as of now (limited due to all the uncertainty), it doesnt seem like this is anything to be worried about…. but knowing Trump and some of the recent orders he has signed has caused a lot of people to become edgy and not travel outside the country. What are your thoughts? I have a flight in 10 hrs 🙁 and yes unfortunately i am confused!
There are a lot of speculations going around recently regarding travel to home country from many attorneys and people in H1B. But I feel like there is nothing to worry about unless there is something bad happened in coming days. There is very minimal chance for that. If you decided to travel to India, don’t worry and enjoy your trip. Everything will be alright.
My question is totally unrelated to the topic. Husband and wife have separate H1B sponsors. Suppose both H1B applications get picked up in the lottery, will their individual visa be stamped? What are the chances? Will they reject one?
Yes it will be stamped as individual H1B petition. No need to fear. No chance of rejection for H1B case or as little as 1%.
Judging by the comments I see here I can confidently say that we Indians are the most pathetic fattus and desi media loves sensationalizing every little thing. It’s only a BILL for God’s sake, 86% of these bills are scrapped. Get a life people.
True.. & Well said.. My manager stopped at my office and asked more details.. Come on.. Nobody knows the details. We are discussing about things, which are in ‘draft’.. 🙂
Well said. I still don’t realize why the attorneys advising H1B people not to travel to India this time.I am going out on a limb and say I don’t feel any difference until the bill become a law.
My question is totally unrelated to the topic. Husband and wife have separate H1B sponsors. Suppose both H1B applications get picked up in the lottery, will their individual visa be stamped? What are the chances? Will they reject one?
Getting picked in lottery is pure luck. I doesn’t matter whether husband and wife or different H1B sponsor.
True. Most people are understandably shaken by the suddenness and unexpectedness, if I may, of the travel ban for the 7 countries. Everyone knew Trump was capable of such measures but still no one really expected him to make it happen; I guess most people thought most of what he claimed he would do was purely for winning the election.
I think we desis just want to know how CBP is acting since the EOs were signed, just to get a sense of whether there will be any risks to regaining entry in to the US. A vast majority of us are risk-averse so even if there is one confirmed incident of an H or L visa having desi denied entry on grounds related to the EOs, it will make taking the decision whether or not to travel outside the US now easier for some. It is unfortunate, and to be honest, pathetic, but this is who and how we are in general.
I am on H1 Currently.
I have domestic flight on Flight to travel within USA i.e. CO to NY..
Is it safe to travel domestically within USA or will there be any concern?
Waiting for the reply… Thanks!!!
Of course it’s safe you pussy.
Why do you guys like to create panic without a credible reason?
No no don’t go , don’t even go out of your house lol
Are you kidding .This is beyond hilarious.
No Its not… They will catch you
Thanks for the write-up. I am currently in the US on L1 visa and I have a 1-week business trip planned to India by Feb end. Will it be a risk to travel during this time?
My friends Dad work in DC very closely with decision makers. Here is summary from what he gathered from internal meeting:
1. Strong possibility of increasing minimum wages for H1B within one to two months. They are considering both bills; the one which says 100K and other which says 130K. Most probably they will come up with mid range based on geographic location. Example: States like Georgia, Florida might have minimum wage as 100K while California as 130K.
2. Wage rule will apply for all new H1B from this upcoming FY18 H1B.
3. For the Existing H1B (folks who are already in US on H1B):
a) Can continue to stay in US on same wages until their H1B expires.
b) For any extension of H1B the wage should match with new wage rule
c) If they go out of US AND need new stamping, then the wage has to be as per new wage rule
4. Spouse of H1B cannot work under any circumstances as H1B was created for highly skilled workers only and not for their spouse to take up American jobs
5. There will be no wage restriction on L1B . However, for L1B the petition must prove specialized knowledge of company. Note: specialized knowledge does NOT mean guru of Java, .Net, Testing, Database. It means that you have the Know-How OF the company’s operation (Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twa7Bu0JjOY). All L1Bs who do not fall into this consideration will be rejected. Existing ones can stay until expiry.
6. L1A: Need to match wage of a Manager in US – 150k or above. Need to demonstrate Manager capacity
7. EB1 on L1A: Rules are being drafted to tighten this loophole too.
it takes a lot more than just 1 or 2 months for a bill to become a law.
also 130 k for California is way too much…..
LOL, what a pathetic liar.
I did some checking online, and even in an expensive place like SF, only 10% of H1B employees fall in the > $130k /year salary category. In other parts of the country it’s even less. So basically the bill will throw out 90% (atleast) of visa applications just based on prevailing wage ??! Which means next year US will get only 8500 H1B employees across the nation! Sounds WAY absurd to me.
I can’t imagine how a Democratic senator in silicon valley came up with this absurd number. Another thing is, this bill has a high chance of getting rejected. I read somewhere that it is “tabled” – I don’t know if this bill was actually “tabled” – but “tabled” means “when a legislative body adopts a motion to suspend consideration of a bill indefinitely”. So it’s already dead if you ask me.
I would put my money on the $100k bill, or something even lower if it meets their sweet spot. And there’s no way this is going to pass before the FY18 lottery; congress still hasn’t decided what to do with Trump’s nominees, and ACA, and a whole bunch of other things.
Please don’t unnecessarily create panic by propagating incredible speculations. The new bill would need to pass through both House of Representatives and Senate, and only then it would become the law.
Can any one instead of speculating many if & buts bring out the summary proposal of the impending non immigration reform bill by width & breadth.
My H1B VISA got approved and I have planned my travel on Feb last week.
I am hearing so many news around about deporting and 130K wage rule. Few folks are even suggesting not to travel on this uncertain conditions.
How is the situations now? Is it suggestible to travel ? Plz suggest..
I too have my travel plan in March with h1b visa stamping, it was just fun trip after 2 year of stay here, but due to current situation i am cancelling my plan and postpone to 6 months for things to settle down.
Why would you cancel your trip merely on basis of speculation, when nothing has changed yet or won’t change unless law is passed which would further take atleast 3-5 months. Avoid being scared to such level , just an advice – It’s not worth stressing so much and making illogical decisions.
My H1B expires in few months and I have just began to file the extension.
Is it true that H1B extensions are also getting affected (like being put on hold or getting rejected).
I am working for the same employer since 2014 in USA.
Thanks for your write-up. Also, if this comes effect will that affect existing H1bs OR new H1Bs alone?
It’s depressing and worrying to see that a guy like me with a Masters and a Ph.D. from US (currently on OPT) might have to struggle hard just to keep visa status even though opportunities are plenty!
I’m worried about whether he cancels STEM OPT as my application for that is due in a few months. As the author mentioned, Trump cannot cancel any rule that was made with review and comment period (e.g., STEM OPT), and certainly he cannot simply cancel/negate laws that were created by congress (e.g., H1B).
But how much restrictions can he put on STEM OPT, H1B’s or other visas through executive order? If he can block people from certain countries enter the US (even some with Green Cards), surely he can put some restrictions on others w.r.t. to their ability to work here? Can the author clarify on this please?
They way I read it he wants to keep people like you around. Which makes sense to me. Its 130K for H1B dependent employees, that should not affect you. Also if this actually happens (thats a BIG if), there will be a lot fewer H1b applications so your changes in the lottery improve significantly.
I really would not worry, this is far away from being a law.
Thanks Sam for the reassuring words. I hope you’re right and this actually helps in weeding out the less-deserved people who try to spam the system!
Everything is up in the air as of now. But if the weeding out happens and all Indian IT sweat shops get wiped out people like you with PhDs from USA will prevail. Most phd jobs in industry are not gonna be in companies with more than 15% of h1b workforce. Companies with such high level of h1bs are anyway dominated by pathetic desi / American managers that abuse and treat you like crap. The pot of bad karma has filled up, it’s time to get rid of low wage h1b slave import that drive down wages and keep bad management afloat. H1b was not created to have us phd guy compete with slave IT import.
I emailed to ustraveldocs and they said dropbox facility for h1b is not cancelled. If my visa didnt expire within last 12 months I could still use drop box. I have flight on 9th feb and planning to drop documents on 13th feb.
Why is everybody freaking out about 130K? If passed, the bill only applies to ‘H1B dependent emplyers’. Most big companies like Google, Microsoft, Intel are not H1B dependent employers.
“…and raises the salary level at which H-1B dependent employer are exempt from nondisplacement and recruitment attestation requirements to greater than $130,000….”.
Note that it says h1B dependent employer.
Those who know how Congress works will know this bill isn’t going anywhere (i.e., it has no hope). Firstly, the bill is proposed by one Democratic congresswomen from Silicon Valley, and for whatever reason, she chose the $ amount such that it will hurt 90% of companies/people on H1B. The Republican congress will never entertain this bill. In fact, I read that the bill was “tabled”; I don’t know how many people know this, but tabled means consideration of the bill is postponed indefinitely. Secondly, the Republican congress usually works in favor of skilled labor, so I doubt they will entertain any bill that raises the prevailing wage to over $100k, without considering the location, job type, median salary at that location etc.
What is H1B dependent employer?
Check out the article at 130K H1B Bill, I explain all the details in there.
Great articles. Many a h1b minds would be put at ease now. You have done a good job in separating the 130k bill proposal from the leaked executive order detailz.
Does it will have impact for H4 people who will be travelling to native place and returning back.
My family is travelling in Mar 2017 and returning in Jun 2017 and they have to go for Stamping.
Is H1B Transfer in US is a feasible one at this point of time ??
Nothing changes as of now, it should be possible.
Thanks for Blogs, because we are getting more accurate information comparatively outside messages.
Could you please suggest for me also, My H1B is part 2017 Cap and it was approved and stamped. And the validity of stamping is 2017 Oct.
I am planning to travel in 3rd week of Feb. Is the right time to travel to US at present situation or due i need to wait for 2 or 3 months.
It will great help for me of your comments.
Thanks for the clear explanation.
My H1B case was approved last week.i have to submit the DS-160, shall i book the appointment now or can wait for next couple of days.
please provide your suggestions.
Im also in same situation … Im planning to go for stamping in feb 2 or 3rd week … Please let me know If you have got any information on what we can do best ..
As of now, nothing changes. All the above details are based on leaked draft and pure speculation. If I were you, I would go ahead with my plans.
I have upcoming H1B visa stamping in march, currently i am in USA. shall i avoid travel or can confidentially proceed. i work for big IT consulting company for Tier 1 client in US have all documents
It is hard to say at this point. You still have a month or so to go, we do not know what might come up, just need to wait and see… But, the dropbox option is taken out with the recently signed executive order suspending Visa Waiver Program and you will have to appear for in-person interview. It is listed as : Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security. . There will be delays in visa processing due to this change.
Thanks, anyway i have to go for visa stamping as my earlier stamping expired a year age.
i think i should avoid travel at this point as situation is not normal.
and will plan to visit india after 6 month or so. this is to be at safer side and continue staying here and doing job with approved petition. does not make sense to take risk
what you suggest kumar ?
As per my understanding visa interview waiver program is not cancelled. It isa They made some changes like for J1 visa you can use dropbox if your visa expired 24 to 48 months. Now that got changed to 12 months. Everything else is same and people are getting H1B visa approved after dropbox submission.
This is one of the best summaries I have read online about this, thank you for gathering all the information. But I’m still not clear where the 130K rumor came from?
Thanks. I am writing an article covering this, stay tuned.
My h1b is stamped for a location, if I need to file amendment for location and compensation change then can i face any issue? By when we can know this 130k and ead rule if changing? Is this good time to come to US? I did my masters from US, any benefit for US masters in this bill? I did four years back but finally got h1b and project.
I am in the same boat. I already resigned in current organization. Don’t know what step to take.
As mentioned above, everything is pure speculation based on leaked draft of the memos. Nothing is officially signed or communicated by Trump. We just need to wait and see, what comes out in the upcoming days… It is very hard to say unless a bill is put out and goes through some stages to say, if there are any benefits to US masters, etc. Right now, all we can do is keep our finger crossed and wait for official details…