President Trump has signed yet another executive order that tightens the grip around scrutinizing contractors and sub-contractors on H1-B visas employed by US federal agencies. The Department of Labor has been asked to investigate and report the current state of H1-B employment among federal agencies and ensure strict adherence to immigration laws and protection of US employees is maintained.
This was prompted when Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal agency announced the layoff of 62 US workers in lieu of outsourcing the jobs to temporary foreign workers on H1-B visas.
What Is The Executive Order For H1-B Contractors About?
The new executive order requires federal agencies to give preference to US residents and green card holders for contract and sub-contract positions.
In 45 days, the Department of State is to investigate all employment policies of federal organizations starting October 1, 2017 until now and report its finding on the following:
- Scrutinize all contractors and subcontractors employed by these federal agencies and the nature of the work performed by temporary foreign labor on such contracts;
- Evaluate whether opportunities for United States workers were impacted due to the employment of foreign contractors or subcontractors;
- All Labor Condition Application (LCA) norms including appropriate wages were assigned to these foreign workers before giving them these contractual employment positions.
How Will The Executive Order Impact H1-B Consultants?
- Consulting companies like Accenture, Capgemini, Cognizant, Infosys, TCS and Wipro have temporary contracts and sub-contractors working on several projects for US federal agencies. These will be heavily scrutinized, per this executive order.
- The chances of denial of LCA are much higher for H1-B workers who is working for a federal agency.
- Once DOL completes its investigation, for those H1-B workers whose LCA is already approved, there are chances of being asked to re-certify their LCAs. They should consult an immigration lawyer to follow due process.
- RFEs will increase since all LCA norms will be strictly scrutinized. Not meeting anyone of these would result in a RFE.
- ICE & DHS site visits to third part sites will increase since most H1-B consulting workers are placed in client sites which is a third-party site.
- H1-B extensions after the current term will not be renewed.
- All H1-B workers placed in client projects or third party sites with a federal agency and awaiting PERM, will now face further scrutiny and delays.
- Going forward, new PERM/GC for H1-B workers at federal agencies might not get approved.