In recent weeks the US State Department have implemented a number of changes to the visa validity periods for countries including; Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Italy and Israel. Whilst these changes have created short term diplomatic issues, what are the long-term economic associated therein?

The US Census Bureau reported on Dec. 30 that net international migration to the U.S. plunged for a third straight year in 2019 to a decade low of 595,000, down from a high of 1,047,000 in 2016. Along with declining birthrates, these have contributed to slow the annual population growth to the weakest in a century[1].

Most economists agree that increasing immigration helps the U.S. economy and greatly reduces labor shortages. It is known that immigrants make up approximately 27.6 million workers out of 161.4 million workers in the U.S.; The 8 million undocumented workers contribute approximately $12 billion in taxes each year; 55% of the country’s $1 billion startup companies had at least one immigrant founder[2].

A consequence of the Trump administration policies is the impact upon labor shortages. According to the Department of Labor, the US economy had 7.6 million unfilled jobs, but only 6.5 million people were looking for work as of January 2019 and it is more apparent than ever that the US is suffering because of this[3].

The above issues are combining to slow economic growth in the US, where Economists are projecting GDP growth at 1.8% through 2020. This forecast remains significantly higher than the other G-7 countries, which are forecast to grow by an average 0.82%[4].

This projected growth represents a decrease from 2.2% in 2019, 2.9% in 2018, 2.2% in 2017 and 1.6% in 2016[5]. Furthermore, these restrictive immigration policies from the Trump administration are reducing the US international competitiveness, benefiting particularly China and its neighbor to the north, Canada. Counter to the US immigration policies and flattered by robust population increases of 1.5% year-over-year, Canada’s headline growth could “easily” top the U.S. this year, “especially with some certainty on the USMCA,” according to Bank of Montreal Chief Economist Doug Porter.

Despite the impact of the Trump Administration, the US still represents the largest single market for UK business, consisting of 32.5 million businesses, 128.58 million households and with consumer spending increasing at a rate of 4.6%[6]. With policy guidelines provided by state Department, leading to higher visa refusal rates, there has never been a more important time to ensure businesses market entry or growth strategies to the US are supported by robust legal counsel.

At Davies Legal, we represent clients in connection with all types of immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications. We offer competitive fixed fee billing and an assurance that your case will be handled only by your designated, fully licensed US immigration attorney. Call now for a free no obligation quote.

 

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-07/immigration-divides-u-s-and-canadian-bids-for-g-7-growth-crown

[2] http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/881040/work+visas/NH+Futurecast+2020+Immigration

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahchamberlain/2019/08/21/addressing-the-skilled-labor-shortage-in-america/#3f0999a4181d

[4] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-07/immigration-divides-u-s-and-canadian-bids-for-g-7-growth-crown

[5] https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/gdp-growth-rate

[6] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/27/us-personal-income-and-spending—august-2019.html

Published: 10th January 2020

Filed under: US Immigration, US Visas