Latest Trump Administration Move to Clamp Down on Work Visas Goes into Effect

September 14, 2018

A new federal policy allowing visa adjudicators to deny applications or petitions without first issuing either a notice of intent to deny or a request for additional evidence came into effect this week.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna said that the new policy would allow visa officers to dismiss "frivolous or meritless claims" that he claims "slow down processing for everyone."

Business community response:  "Companies now do not know,” reads a Business Roundtable letter, “whether a work visa petition that was approved last month will be approved when the company submits the identical application to extend the employee's status.  This challenge is particularly acute for companies that hire H-1B professional workers where the government has narrowed eligibility criteria without issuing guidance to adjudicators or the public.”

Outlook:  The move is the latest in a series of actions that fall below the threshold of rulemaking or law but have nonetheless proven effective at deterring and discouraging the use of visas that the Trump administration has resisted, such as the H-1B.