Trump administration tightens H-1B visa program


The Trump administration announced restrictions on H-1B visas on Tuesday. 

Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The H-1B visa for high-skilled workers will be subject to new restrictions by the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security (DHS), the Trump administration said Tuesday. The rules are designed to close loopholes that let US employers replace American workers with “low-cost foreign labor,” it noted.

The Labor Department rule forces employers to pay H-1B holders more, while the DHS one requires foreign workers to have a degree in the “specialty occupation” they apply for (as opposed to any college degree). The former comes into effect Thursday, and the latter rule is expected to be enforced in two months, CBS News reported.

In June, President Donald Trump halted the issuance of work visas, including the H-1B, through an executive order due to the coronavirus pandemic. That earned criticism from tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, since about three-quarters of 85,000 allotted H-1B visas each year go to people working in the technology industry.

None of those four companies immediately responded to a request for comment on the new restrictions.

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