This past week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its policy, which renewals are now to be reviewed and scrutinized like first-time applications. Up until this week, the Trump Administration had directed officers to defer to findings in previously green-lighted applications when making decisions on renewals.
The USCIS director, L. Francis Cissna, said in a statement that the change “provides clear direction to help advance policies that protect the interests of U.S. workers.” The updates focuses on a variety of different visas, the least of which is the controversial and debated H-1B. The H-1B visa focuses on U.S. companies, who are able to sponsor nonimmigrant visas to temporarily employ foreign workers with bachelor's degrees in specialty fields.
William Stock, an immigration lawyer from Philadelphia, said it’s difficult to say exactly how many foreign workers will be affected by the USCIS’s updated policy, but estimated it should be at least a couple hundred thousand. The USCIS stated, "The updated guidance instructs officers to apply the same level of scrutiny when reviewing nonimmigrant visa extension requests even where the petitioner, beneficiary and underlying facts are unchanged from a previously approved petition."
OUR VERDICT: Although there are many problems with overriding the system for immigration, the Trump Administration is trying to find ways to undermine and backlog the system. The intention is to shrink the number of foreign worker visas issued and to make the process more expensive for employers.