The Buy American and Hire American (BAHA) Executive Order 13788 passed by President Trump on April 18,2017 was revoked by President Biden on January 25, 2021 under a new Executive order 14005 titled “Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers”. While BAHA had a clear aim towards supporting U.S. workers, elevating the economy by promoting growth of jobs and safeguarding the immigration system of the United States, the new order instructs the federal government to “maximize the use of goods, products, and materials produced in, and services offered in, the United States” by following the necessary procedures and budgets.
The BAHA order has had a rippling effect across all federal agencies of the United States including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), causing officials to roll out various policies aimed towards the immigration applications. The result was altered and updated procedural changes that increased the difficulties and obstacles for employers to get approval to even the routine extensions to stay petitions for workers already staying in the United States with no major changes in job details from the last approved petition.
As expected, with the BAHA in action, there had been a huge upheaval on the Request for Evidences being given out by the USCIS as well as frequent case denials. According to statistics of FY 2019 and FY 2020, the H-1B RFE rates have reached around 40 percent in 2019.The H-1B visa denials have exceeded 26 percent in 2020 and 34 percent in 2019. The L1 visas have seen an increased denial of 43 percent in the FY 2020 and 49 percent in FY 2019 where an RFE was issued. The denials and RFEs during the pre-BAHA period were somewhere around 20 percent for H-1B and 33 percent for L1 petitions.
While the effect of the new Executive Order under Biden Administration on RFE issuance and visa denials remains to be seen, a favorable shift towards business immigration can be expected by the employers.
We will regularly update the blog as soon as any new updates are available.
This article aims to provide new information. This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal advice; therefore, for any immigration questions, please contact your Attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C. (Team ALO).