Changes to regulations around hiring H-1B applicants are afoot, thanks to TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program). In terms of the actual numbers of jobs affected, however, it amounts to a hill of beans.
What Congress did was extend rules targeted mainly at consulting companies, where 15 percent or more of the workforce may be H-1B visa employees, to companies receiving TARP funds. Companies that meet this definition are called "Dependent Companies."
The three major requirements for dependent companies are:
- The employer must attest to the fact that they made a bona fide recruitment effort to hire American workers for the position.
- The employer cannot displace an American worker 90 days before or after a layoff and hire someone for an essentially equivalent position in the same area.
- When working at a client site, the employer cannot displace an American worker with someone from the consultancy on an H-1B in an equivalent position.
These requirements are outlined in the Employ American Workers Act (EAWA), put into the bill by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
What most people may not realize is that the companies receiving TARP money, almost exclusively financial institutions, do not appear to have a long history of hiring employees on H-1B visas anyway.
(Let me make this clear before I get a lot of spiteful e-mails. I say "do not appear" to be using many workers on an H-1B. I am relying on someone else's research, and have not conducted a major study, myself. If feel this is an assessment is inaccurate, please post a comment at the end of this blog.)
The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) reported on the top 12 financial institutions receiving bailout money and the number of H-1B petitions submitted by them in 2007, the latest available records. I spoke with Stuart Anderson, executive director at NFAP, about this matter.
Combined, these 12 companies submitted 919 H-1B petitions.