Department of Homeland Security Begins Pilot Program The demand for foreign workers continues to skyrocket across many professional industries in the U.S. Visas such as the popular H-1B, quickly meets the maximum quota available on a consistent basis, and the number of applicants each year is growing. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Known Employer program entered the pilot stage to determine its potential for success. The program was designed to streamline the process for employers wanting to hire foreign workers. As the competition continues in the science and technological fields, this streamlining is an important step to make sure that the U.S. stays ahead of innovation and meets the demand of businesses within its borders. Process Modification Upon designing the federally recommended program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) altered the policies already set in place by the immigration and citizenship control offices. The policy changes should reduce the amount of paperwork and processing required to approve or deny hiring requests. Under the old rules, excessive costs and delays extended the amount of time it took to review employers interested in hiring foreign workers. If all goes as expected, the program overhaul should improve both the timing and accuracy of the review process. Several government agencies will work in tandem to make sure the program stays on target and nets the intended benefits. Program Goals In order to reduce processing times and delays, the agencies focused on eliminating the bulk of the paperwork employers need to file. In addition to keeping paperwork processing to a minimum, the associated agencies do not have to organize and store documents, freeing up resources for other tasks. The agencies also focused on improving the review process to ensure consistent and timely results are achieved through efficient practices. Participation Limited To strategically gauge the potential of the program, the pilot stage will initially allow only nine employers to apply for participation. The approved employers will utilize the newly designed web portal to submit and monitor their applications. All other correspondence, including petitions, will go through the same portal to eliminate redundancy in the process. The pilot stage will last twelve months before undergoing a full evaluation by the associated agencies. The preselected employers can participate throughout the entire year without paying any additional fees. If the program is a success, it will likely be expanded to support all employers looking to hire workers operating under immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Employers denied the chance to hire foreign workers may benefit from having an immigration attorney file the petition paperwork on their behalf. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can provide legal representation to these employers and others facing immigration denials or difficulties. Individuals seeking representation can call 888-517-9888 to set up a consultation appointment today.