If you are looking to obtain an H-1B visa so that you can work as a computer programmer in Illinois, Wisconsin or another part of the United States, you may find that the process of obtaining one is becoming more difficult. Similarly, if you are a company looking to sponsor an H-1B visa applicant or employ an immigrant in a computer programming or technology-related role, be prepared to make a strong argument for why you need to do so.

The Chicago Tribune reports that new guidelines governing the hiring of foreign technology employees recently took effect nationwide, and that they are being implemented in an effort to discourage abuse of the H-1B visa system. As of 2015, about 12 percent of all approved H-1B visa applicants were computer programmers, but the new guidelines should only affect you if you are seeking a lower-paying, or entry level, technology job.

If you are among those affected by the new guidelines, you must now do more to demonstrate why the job you are seeking in the United States is especially complicated in nature. You may also be asked to clearly show why it requires your specialized skillset. The move comes on the heels of a recent suspension of a program where H-1B visa applicants could accelerate the processing of their visa requests by paying more money. Last year, more than 13,000 foreign computer programmers were sponsored by U.S. employers as they navigated their way through the H-1B visa process.

This information about obtaining H-1B visas is intended to keep you informed, but it is not meant to be taken as legal advice.