International Employees: February 2 Message

Message sent February 2, 2017
TO: HR Partners
SUBJECT: H-1B Communication

Dear HR Partners,

I am writing to address recent rumors and media attention regarding potential changes to the H1B visa program. Recent executive orders restricting visas and benefits for individuals of certain nationalities have created a lot of confusion for the immigrant community and for those who work to support them. We want to recognize that this is a challenging and stressful time for many of our international employees. Although there is still much we do not know, we maintain our strong commitment and support for UO's global community, including our employees of all nationalities. 

There have been many questions about proposed changes to the H-1B program.  However, changes to the H1B program would have to go through a rule-making process,  either through the US legislature or by the US Department of Homeland Security.  Therefore, any changes to the H-1B program would take at least several months to enact.    The H-1B program cannot be changed by a presidential executive order.  The President’s powers are limited – while the President has authority over foreign relations (which includes visa issuance) and the enforcement of laws that the US legislature has enacted; the President cannot change a law that has been passed by Congress.  If you would like more information on how immigration policy and regulations are set, or FAQ’s on the current political process, please review the International Employee Relations page on the Human Resources website. You may review more information on H1B regulations under the “Written Laws” section: http://hr.uoregon.edu/employee-labor-relations/international-employee-relations.

The UO is closely monitoring any changes to immigration law that could impact our community; and will provide ample warning and advice about any changes that could affect UO H1B employees.  

If you have further questions about possible impacts to our international employees, please feel free to contact Jennifer Doreen, International Employment Specialist in Human Resources or Kate Comiskey, International Faculty Advisor. We are happy to talk through your concerns, answer questions, and/or refer you to appropriate resources. 

Best wishes,
Jennifer Doreen
Kate Comiskey