Measures were announced that will sharply reduce the chances of hiring highly qualified foreign workers.
The Trump Administration announced on Tuesday, October 6th, measures that will tighten the H-1B visa program for highly skilled workers.
The new provision substantially increases the wages U.S. companies must pay to foreign hires, reduces eligibility criteria for applicants, and shortens the length of visas for certain subcontracted workers.
The changes involve new rules for both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL). But what is the purpose of these measures?
– First, with one of these regulations, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will reduce the classes or type of work for which the H-1B “Specialty Occupation” Visa can be applied for, which would change the relationship between the employment with that Visa and the employer and one year of the validity of the visa,
– Second, the other regulation of the Department of Labor would define how much of these workers are paid.
The application of these 2 rules would result in the rejection of one third of H-1B visas applications according to unofficial sources.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, on the other hand, defended the regulations to be implemented saying that, “we have entered an era where economic security is a fundamental part of Homeland Security” and that we must ensure that we put American workers first.
Pro-immigrant activists also believe that the changes announced less than a month before the elections are part of the Trump Administration’s attempts to reduce legal immigration as well.
It is expected that the rules that would modify the H-1B visa, will face lawsuits as has happened with other executive orders, where U.S. employers have argued that the U.S. benefits from the professionalism and experience of temporary workers; the same explanation would be used for the statement announced by the Central Administration on the cut of one third of the visas for highly skilled workers.