How Immigration Reform Will Impact Global Mobility

Since 1965 the Immigration and Naturalization Act has been a hotly debated topic for politicians on both sides of the aisle. Currently, the act is designed to help bring families back together and encourage skilled workers from other countries to come to the US. This system invites innovation and has been especially beneficial to technology companies among others. Changes in immigration reform are likely to slow the flow of skilled workers to the US and present challenges to companies seeking to recruit the best talent in the world.

Limiting Recruitment

New limits on immigration specifically from Central America and the Middle East will present a challenge to companies recruiting from these areas. The Middle East is home to a number of health care companies that research and develop medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, Central America is a major source of agricultural innovation and other sciences. It is likely that the issuance of work visas will become severely limited from these regions, and changes will be made to the application process which will likely make for a lengthier process all around.

Outside of Central America and the Middle East, the number of visas issued from other countries is also expected to be cut in half from previous years’ totals. Even ally nations will be deeply affected by these changes.

International Travel

In addition to the limitations posed on the recruitment process, there will also be changes to international travel policy. Even workers who come from the US will be faced with increased scrutiny when returning to the country, and may have to undergo a new vetting process before their visas are reinstated. Any international travel should be done cautiously for employees with citizenship outside of the US should be done with caution, and travel through the Middle East specifically will require extra planning.

Overall, companies need to be prepared for a much more stringent vetting process going forward for employees moving in and out of the country. Central America and the Middle East are most likely to be affected by these changes, but even Western Europe and other major ports of commerce will undergo extra screening. Companies who regularly recruit from these regions will probably face more hurdles than they have in the past.

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