The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA or the "Stimulus Bill") was enacted on February 17, 2009, and Section 1611 – the Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) – severely limits certain employers, namely banks and other financial institutions, who receive funding under the 2008 Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP) from hiring H-1B foreign national employees.

EAWA makes it unlawful for employers who receive TARP funding to hire H-1B worker unless they first comply with the additional and onerous Labor Condition Application (LCA) attestation requirements by first offering the H-1B job position to all equally- or better-qualified US workers, and they also disallow the same employers from hiring H-1B workers in occupations where they had recently laid off any US workers.

Because EAWA addresses only the hiring of new employees, for now it appears similar filings seeking H-1B Extension (for existing H-1B employees) and/or H-1B Change-of-Status (for persons already employed under different immigration status) are not subject to the new "hire" limitations and added LCA requirements. Further clarification from USCIS and USDOL is expected shortly.

EAWA will remain effective for two years after enactment.