As most people are already aware, President Trump issued an Executive Order on January 27th restricting immigration of nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and 120 days for Syria. Here is what employers can do to manage the business issues created by the order.
If your company has employees from the affected countries that are not US citizens or permanent residents (green card holders), you should consider the risks and rewards of having them travel outside the US for work during this ban.
The order also suspended the Visa Interview Waiver Program. This program allowed some repeat visa applicants to skip the in-person interview portion of the visa process. If you have workers from any other country here that take part in the waiver program, it is likely that it will take much longer for them to receive their visa renewal without the waiver program. This will require them spend more time in their country of origin before the new visa is approve/renewed and businesses should plan accordingly.
There is one final part of the order not garnering much of attention that should be of concern to employers. The order calls for the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to review the visa application procedures for every other country for admittance to the US, not just the ones subject to the initial ban. If review is unsatisfactory to the President, the President can prohibit entry of foreign nationals form the offending countries until satisfied with that country’s compliance. What that means, is that more countries than 7 listed above may be affected going forward. That new list will not come out before April 27th, 2017. Employers should pay attention in case other countries are included on the immigration ban where your employees may be from so you can react accordingly.
Finally, even if you don’t have employees affected by this ban, it likely has still had an effect on your workforce. If you find that political conversations in the workplace are causing issues, let us know. We can discuss what problems have arisen and how you can address them.