The current administration crackdowns on H-1B and L-1 visas for technology workers in foreign countries has been going on for months now.\u00a0 President Trump\u2019s \u2018Hire American, Buy American\u2019 initiative has the service provider \u201cmajors\u201d hedging their bets and changing their service offering model.\u00a0\nWith growing uncertainty on access and approvals of H-1B visas required to bring and now keep resources in the United States, service providers are now altering their service offerings to hedge their bets.\u00a0 What is the administration doing?\u00a0 How are service providers altering their practices and what effect does this have on your company\u2019s ability to control costs or acquire and retain the talent you need to deliver?\nTo answer these questions, we first need to understand what is happening on both sides.\u00a0 Let\u2019s start with the government.\u00a0\nBuy American and hire American \u2013 Executive Order summary\nOn April 18th, President Trump signed the \u201cBuy American and Hire American Executive Order.\u201d\u00a0 The Executive Order further states, \u201cIt shall be the policy of the executive branch to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad.\u201d\u00a0 It goes on to state that the use of waivers should be minimized consistent with applicable law.\u00a0\nThis Executive Order lays the foundation for further scrutiny of visa applications and outlines target dates (within 60 and 150 days) for agencies to complete assessments of the effectiveness of current vetting, monitoring and compliance of current laws, as well as \u201cpropose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse.\u201d\nUSCIS policy guidance update\nJust weeks ago, on October 23, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued updated policy guidance instructing its officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial petitions and extension requests for certain nonimmigrant visa categories. The press release announcing this policy update summarizes the change as follows: \u201cThe previous policy instructed officers to give deference to the findings of a previously approved petition, as long as the key elements were unchanged and there was no evidence of a material error or fraud related to the prior determination.\u00a0The updated policy guidance rescinds the previous policy.\u201d\nVisa renewals can no longer leverage the rigor, due diligence and initial justifications presented when first requesting a visa.\u00a0 Workers requesting visa renewals must re-present and re-justify the need for the visa all over again.\u00a0 What once was a formality when seeking renewal of a H-1B Visa is no longer a virtual certainty.\nU.S. bill heading to House of Representatives aims to hike H-1B minimum wages from $60,000 to $90,000\nOn November 16th, 2017, the bipartisan bill, \u201cProtect and Grow American Jobs Act,\u201d which raises the minimum wages for H-1B visas and proposes making master\u2019s degrees mandatory to qualify for work with H-1B visas, was approved by the judiciary committee of the U.S. House of Representative and now goes to the full House of Representatives. If approved, it will have to also be approved by the Senate before it can be signed into law by President Trump. This bill will likely have a strong impact on Indian IT companies, though many have reportedly scaled down their dependency on H-1B visas following the election of Donald Trump.\nSystems Integrators (SIs) changing go-to-market strategies\nMake no mistake, SI\u2019s are taking notice of these policy changes and watching the administration\u2019s actions very closely.\u00a0 Many large SI\u2019s are already altering their offerings to hedge their bets on commitments to H-1B \u201clanded resources\u201d and altering their financial offerings as well.\u00a0 Two major players, Accenture and Deloitte, are visibly changing their practices.\n\u00a0Accenture is now bundling domestic and landed resources into a U.S.A. rate card, providing a single rate for resources and not differentiating rates by which resources are U.S. Citizen and which are H-1B visa resources.\u00a0 Deloitte is taking a different but equally indistinguishable approach by blending rates for domestic resources and landed resources making rates equal or near equal for like roles.\nWill customers pay the price in the end?\nThe answer to this is still unclear.\u00a0 What these changes do mean for companies is the days of service provider transparency into the use of H-1B visa resources may be coming to an end.\u00a0 A few things companies can do to demystify these new pricing and engagement models include:\n\nDemand transparency. Insist on staff loading charts for all resources proposed and require that your service provider identify which resources are landed H-1B resources and which are U.S. based resources.\nSecure commitments to the mix of landed vs. domestic resources. Protect your investments by securing commitments that your service provider agrees to hold costs constant if they cannot staff to the level of landed resources in their staffing models.\u00a0 Negotiate renegotiation triggers if the domestic to landed ratios shift to a higher landed percentage.\nLeverage market intelligence on rates to decompose service provider blending and get the true cost of services to ensure you are truly being presented market rates.\n\nWhat\u2019s next?\nTo be honest, it is unclear what further changes will be made to our H-1B system.\u00a0 What is certain is that your service providers aren\u2019t taking a wait and see attitude and companies shouldn\u2019t either.