President Trump is planning to sign an executive order that seeks to make changes to the H1-B visa program that brings in high-skilled workers.
The President plans to sign an order dubbed “Buy American, Hire American,” that will commission the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State to review and propose new rules regarding the H-1B visa program, with the aim that H-1B visas are awarded to the “most-skilled or highest-paid applicants.”
Trump's new directive will not affect the day-to-day running of the H-1B system, and will only open a formal review of the program. However, the executive order may leave many in the tech industry worried, as the move will be the latest in a series of restrictions and changes the administration has introduced to the H1-B visa program in recent weeks, reports said.
Changes could include higher fees for the visas, changing the wage scale for the program or other initiatives. Around 85,000 H-1B visas are distributed annually by lottery. Many visas are obtained by the technology companies, who take the position that the U.S. has shortage of skilled technology workers. However, critics argue that the program is being misused by companies that use the visas to import foreigners, who can work on lower salaries in the United States.