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Competition for H-1B visas expected to remain fierce

Florida residents are likely aware that President Trump has vowed to toughen the nation's immigration laws to protect American jobs. The H-1B employment visa program has been singled out for particular criticism because it allows foreign workers to assume positions in the lucrative research and technology sectors, but calls for reform are unlikely to prevent the competition for available H-1B visas to be especially fierce in the year ahead.

Employers including technology giants like Apple and Google say that they need qualified H-1B visa applicants because they cannot find individuals with the needed qualifications or skills locally. The competition for H-1B visas has grown stronger in recent years due to a surging economy and historically low rates of unemployment. The number of H-1B visas is currently capped at 85,000 per year, and it seems unlikely that efforts to revise the program will affect this number during the 2019 fiscal year.

President Trump has stopped short of calling for the H-1B visa program to be scrapped, but he has called for visa applications to be examined more closely to ensure that only those who possess much-needed skills are admitted into the country. In April, the President signed an executive order that called on federal agencies to suggest reforms to the H-1B visa program. However, some lawmakers have said that restrictions placed on the program would do little to help American workers.

Attorneys with experience in employment immigration cases may explain the provisions of the H-1B visa program to both employers and employees, and they may also assist in the preparation of H-1B petitions. Attorneys may point out that proper paperwork is crucial when dealing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during a time when immigration is a hot-button political topic and programs such as H-1B are being subjected to additional scrutiny.

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