The H-1B visa program for high-skilled foreign workers overhauled is the latest announcement that the Trump administration has made lately. As per the new measure the employers will have to pay the H-1B workers higher wages. The types of degrees that could qualify an applicant will be narrowed. The length of visas for some types of contract workers will be shortened.
Under the new set of rules, it’s expected that a third of all H-1B visa applications would face rejection. This was shared by the second most prominent DHS official, Ken Cuccinelli.
The changes were made to protect the interests of American workers. Patrick Pizzella, the Deputy Secretary of Labor reaffirmed that he believed immigration laws of the US should put Americans first. With the new rule, the practice of US employers of choosing H-1B workers over American workers can be prevented. The major reason for preferring foreign workers was that they had to be paid lesser than American workers. This will be changed by the new measure.
The Trump administration had tightly restricted the issuance of work visas including H-1B visas. Lately, the ban against US companies who recruit foreign workers under H-1B and other visas was challenged in court. A San Francisco federal judge blocked the move. Now, this new policy has been announced for the H-1B visa, which attempts to reduce the influx of foreign workers in the US.
The new rule will lead to an increase in the required entry-level workers’ wage level from the 17th percentile of the employer’s professional distribution to the 45th. The requirement for the highest-skilled workers will go up from the 67th percentile to the 95th.
A large number of new H-1B visa applications and renewal applications will get rejected as they won’t meet the new wage level requirements.
The new rule imposed by the US Department of Homeland Security will also squeeze the opportunity for H-1B visa applicants on the basis of their required education. As of now, a foreigner with a college degree or its equivalent in work experience can make one eligible for applying for an H-1B visa. But under the new rule, an applicant will need to be a college degree holder in the specific field in which the candidate is seeking a job.
Moreover, the US work permit visa will be made valid for just a year instead of 3. This will require employers to submit new applications every year, hence incurring heavier expenses for them.
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