12 Days of Compliance: Top 2017 Immigration Trends

Last Updated on February 23, 2023


The top 2017 immigration trends range from shifts at the organizational level – the way businesses are looking at international recruiting – to policy-level changes that are changing the game. In the U.S. and beyond, 2017 was a year of immigration change. Here are some of the top shifts we saw this year:

Business and government are going opposite directions

Business and government are going opposite directions

55 percent of employers expected the headcount of foreign nationals to go up, which was a 20 percent increase from the previous year. Outside U.S. immigration, more than half of employers (59 percent) expected to need more work authorizations for employees in other countries. It’s true that 2017 was a busy year for crossing borders with businesses looking to globalize their workforce.

For the U.S. and governments across the world, on the other hand, the trend went the opposite direction. An increase in nationalist policies and tighter enforcement strategies on employment-based visas (especially the H-1B visa) were a common occurrence throughout 2017.

Plus, Brexit and other international immigration changes in policy left a big question mark over the heads of workers and employers throughout the year.

Employers are investing in acquisition and retention

Another one of the top 2017 immigration trends is related to recruitment efforts. This year, 83 percent of employers reported they invested in acquiring and retaining foreign talent.

And the ways they were able to do that successfully? Immigration-related perks like visa and green card sponsorship to attract talent. More than 90 percent said they spend an average of $6,000 or more per recruited employee.

Attracting foreign talent is becoming critical as the labor shortage becomes more prevalent in the U.S. and around the world. Companies that invest in immigration perks are better able to attract the talent they need to fill jobs.

Budgets are growing

HR departments at organizations across the country have had to increase their budgets in order to keep up with the changes in immigration policy this year.

Some have started advocating for solutions to immigration challenges – solutions that could ease the recruiting and retention burdens on companies in the U.S. One in five organizations said the U.S. immigration system has impacted their strategies for hiring and keeping employees.

For more of the top 2017 immigration trends, download our 2017 Immigration Trends Report, which will also subscribe you for updates on our upcoming 2018 Immigration Trends Report.