Obama’s Stimulus Plan and Its Effect on H-1B Visa Applications

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 containing the Sanders H-1B amendment.  The Sander H-1B amendment prohibits the sponsoring of H-1B visas by organizations that received funding of through the Emergency Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 (TARP money) unless the organization complies with the requirements of H-1B dependent employers for the next two years.

H-1B dependent employers are defined as employers with:

1.  25 or fewer full time equivalent employees in the US and employ more than seven H-1B visa holders; or

2.  26-50 full time equivalent employees in the US and employ more than 12 H-1B visa holders; or

3.  have more than 50 full time equivalent employees in the US and employ at least 15% of their workforce with H-1B visa holders.

H-1B dependent employers must make certain attestations with regard to US worker displacement, recruitment and hiring. The American Immigration Lawyers Assication (AILA) recently posted a press release stating that these attestation requirements “saddles TARP fund recipients with strict regulations for hiring foreign workers under the H-1B program that are so cumbersome as to amount to an out-and-out prohibition.”

Notwithstanding AILA’s position, this is actually good news for many prospecitve H-1B visa applicants who intend to file this April 2009 for FY2010.  Last April, USCIS was overwhelmed with H-1B applications and the 65,000 H-1B Visa Cap was met in the very first week and tens of thousands of applications were rejected through a lottery system.  If the Sanders amendment precents the large financial firms from applying as AILA as predicted, there will be many more available H-1B visas for applicants from smaller US companies.

Posted on February 25, 2009 at 10:30 pm by Immigration Lawyer Peter Messersmith · Permalink
In: H-1B Visa, H-1B Visa Cap · Tagged with: ,

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