In the year 2018, the Trump administration has re-worked on several aspects of US immigration including the H-1B visa and has entered has entered into a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. The US immigration is becoming more challenging and 2019 could see more limitations on immigration.
H-1B Visa Program Updates
Earlier this year, President Trump signed an order restricting access to H-1B visas. This move on part of administration was taken to support Trump’s Buy American, Hire American initiative.
The changes to H-1B visa include officially cancelling the right of the visa holder’s spouses ability to work in the United States. Approximately 100,000 people will be out of work due to this move. Also, this move directly affects the ability of companies to attract talented workers to the United States.
H-1B is a highly competitive visa. 25,000 H-1B visa cap has already been reached for the 2019 fiscal year. There will be another 20,000 applications for those with advanced degrees.
With the changes made to the H-1B visa in 2019, it is expected that the prospective immigrants will be required to explore other options for immigrating to the US.
These alternatives include L-1 visa, J-1 visa, and O-1 visa.
Green Card / Permanent Residency
In October 2018, the Trump administration announced that it might introduce a change to the green card which would limit the green cards based on the use of government benefits. This change would increase the amount of government benefits which can be used to disqualify an applicant.
Unfortunately, at this time, there is not enough information to say what exactly will happen with the proposed change. However, if passed, it will serve to limit immigration in 2019.
US Student Visas
The United States is a popular destination for international students. A few changes have taken place under immigration policy surrounding student visas in 2018. First change is an update to a regulation (8 CFR 103.2 (b)(8) ) which allows the immigration office to have full discretion with application without asking for any additional information from the applicant. This will affect those seeking to obtain an F-1 student visa.
There has also been a change to how long a student may remain in the US after their program ends.
In 2019, it will be more important to demonstrate that you meet all the requirements and that you have a properly submitted application. Additionally, with the strict rules surrounding unlawful presence, students wishing to stay in the US after graduation should begin looking at immigration options early.
Errors and omissions
Immigration officers are now allowed to refuse an application if they find any information missing. Before this change was introduced, officers were required to send a written notification to the applicant that there was an issue with their application.
This change highlights the need to consult an immigration expert who can ensure that your application is complete and does not lack any required information.
Birthright citizenship is a type of citizenship which is granted to anyone born on US soil, regardless of their parents’ nationality. When the child turns 21, they can sponsor their parent or siblings to the US.
This is the issue about which President Trump has spoken recently. He hopes to end Birthright Citizenship by signing an executive order.