May 28, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

The H-1B visa, the employment-based non-immigrant visa for temporary workers for specialty occupations, has faced multiple hurdles under the Trump administration. Let's take a closer look at some updates.

In February, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a memo that makes it extremely difficult for H-1B status professionals to work at the sites of their employer's customers. This memo has resulted in legal action--some see it as the federal government's attempt to dictate how companies organize their businesses and to dictate which employees can provide services at customer sites.

In an article in Forbes, Vic Goel, managing partner at Goel and Anderson said, "Companies in the information technology services, management consulting, healthcare, and staffing fields are going to feel this change most acutely as it requires increased documentation to gain approval of an H-1B petition if the visa holder will work at a customer site. 

The H-1B process is becoming so difficult that many Indian workers are looking at EB-5 visas as their path to the US. The EB-5 is the Immigrant Investor Program managed by USCIS for entrepreneurs and their spouses (over age 21) eligibility to apply for green cards if they can make the required investment in a commercial project in the US and plan to create and maintain at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified US workers. 

The financial commitment? $500,000.

In an article in The Hindu Business Line, Nima Korpivaara, Partner, David Hirson & Partners LLP said, "With the ability of H-1B holders to adjust status to the Green Card in the US, Indian nationals are looking at EB-5 as a shortcut to get their green card in two years or less."

What will happen to the H-1B and EB-5 visas? Time will tell. For now, those seeking H-1B visas under the Trump administration face tough challenges.

Learn more about studying in the US. 


Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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