As the annual filing date for H-1B visa petitions quickly approaches, we thought it might be helpful to provide a status report on the H-1B program given the intense scrutiny it is receiving from the Trump Administration, which has vowed to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that U.S. workers are not denied job opportunities that might otherwise go to a foreign worker.

The H-1B visa program is intended to help American companies deal with labor shortages in rapidly growing fields that demand specialized skills. H-1B visas are issued to foreign workers in “specialty occupations” that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, most commonly in computing, science, math, and engineering fields. H-1B visas traditionally are in high demand, and quotas for the following fiscal year typically are filled shortly after the annual application period commences.

Indeed, the H-1B quotas for Fiscal Year 2019 are expected to be filled within the first week after the FY 2019 filing period opens on April 2, 2018. And while the filing process itself remains the same for now, changes could be on the horizon as federal agencies such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are warning employers that they intend to more closely scrutinize H-1B visa applications to ensure compliance.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.