The Trump Administration’s Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions for the DHS contains close to 60 items.

Published in the spring and fall, the Unified Agenda gives information about regulations that are under development. The latest iteration represents President Donald Trump’s promise to amend and eliminate “regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete” in order to “promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty.”

Here are some changes employers can be expected in 2018.

Strengthening the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification Program:

  • Revise the definition of a “specialty occupation” to focus on the “the best and the brightest”
  • Redefine the employer-employee relationship “to better protect U.S. workers and wages”
  • Impact: This might mean a further crackdown on outsourcers and new definitions that could make it more difficult to obtain visas in certain occupational categories

Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking to File H-1B Petitions on Behalf of Aliens Subject to the Numerical Cap:

  • Streamline the H-1B Cap process by introducing an electronic registration process
  • May include a modified selection process to focus on the “best and brightest”
  • Impact: This might mean a more hierarchical approach to the selection process based upon degrees and wages

Removing H-4 Dependent Spouses from the Class of Aliens Eligible for Employment Authorization

  • Eliminate the H-4 EAD Rule
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is expected in February 2018
  • Impact: This might mean a loss of employment authorization for approximately 100,000 spouses

Practical Training Reform

  • Improve protections for U.S. workers who may be negatively impacted by students employed in F and M status
  • Reduce fraud and abuse and increase oversight of schools and students involved in the program
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is expected in October 2018
  • Impact: This might make is more difficult to hire and retain students and could result in the reduction in enrollment of foreign students at U.S. institutions

Jackson Lewis will continue to monitor the progress of these proposals.

Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.