What Can We Expect From the H-1B Visa Program and Immigration in 2019

Posted: March 1, 2019


Available under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the H-1B visa enables U.S. employers to hire foreign workers for specialized positions on a temporary basis. To qualify for the visa, candidates must have specialized knowledge in a particular occupation, along with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent work experience in the field.

At Select Holdings, we strive to keep our tech clients up to date on various issues affecting their companies, including the latest visa program developments. Read on for H-1B visa changes you can expect in the coming year.


Increased Number of Advanced Degree Recipients

In 2019, the USCIS will reverse the order in which it chooses H-1B petitions based on the H-1B cap and advanced degree exemption. In other words, more opportunities will be available for candidates with master’s degrees or doctorates from American universities. This change will switch the selection order so that advanced degree exemptions are made after the H-1B cap.


New Electronic Registry Requirement

New H-1B candidates will need to electronically register with the USCIS prior to applying. And because employers won’t be required to send in petitions and other documentation before cap selection, they won’t have to invest as much time and effort into the process.  The end result is that the H-1B visa process will be more efficient and less costly overall.

It’s worth noting that new legislation may affect the ability of H4 visa holders to work in the U.S. A dependent visa for H1B, the H4 visa enables spouses and children of H1B recipients to enter the country. While a 2015 ruling by the Obama administration enabled some H4 visa holders to pursue employment in this country, the Trump administration is attempting to eliminate this authorization. This change could impact the tens of thousands of foreign nationals living in this country.


Changing Political Landscape

It’s worth considering how the evolving political landscape will shape the H-1B visa program in the coming years. The Trump administration has historically been detrimental to immigration efforts, and companies might discover new roadblocks in their efforts to bring talented H-1B candidates on board. Still, experts are hopeful that the 2018 elections will bring positive changes to this important program in the coming months.


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We’ve seen it happen time and again – companies hire less-than-qualified IT employees, and business suffers as a result. A leader in local staffing, Select Resources is passionate about helping companies hire smarter with a goal of increasing productivity and keeping them at the forefront of their industries. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our experts today.

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