Immigration Alert: New Stimulus Legislation Limits H-1B's for Employers Receiving TARP Funds


On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law. Commonly referred to as the “Stimulus Bill” or “ARRA,” this new law has a significant immigration provision. Banks and companies that have received or will receive funds under the previously passed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“TARP funding”) or Section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act (authorizing the Federal Reserve’s “Discount Window” for short-term, secured loans to financial institutions and other companies) will not be able to hire an H-1B nonimmigrant unless the employer complies with the stricter H-1B dependent requirements. These require the employer to attest that it has recruited for the position in good faith, but found no U.S. workers equally or better qualified than the H-1B worker and that the hiring of the H-1B employee will not displace U.S. workers currently in the employer’s workforce. Normally, these strict provisions are only required of employers that are “H-1B dependent” because their percentage of H-1B workers surpasses a certain level based on the size of the total workforce. Very few employers meet this H-1B dependent standard. This new provision forces recipients of TARP or certain Federal Reserve loan funding into this dependent category for two years from the date of enactment to February 16, 2011.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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