Trump may replace H-1B visa program with job petitions plan
- In closed-door talks last month, the Trump transition team and tech industry executives discussed possibly overhauling the H-1B visa program, reports Reuters. The temporary program allows foreign workers into the U.S. to fill high-skilled, high-paying jobs, mostly in the tech industry.
- One proposal was replacing the H-1B program with a visa-petition system, unidentified sources told Reuters. A visa petition for high-paying jobs would replace the current lottery-based program.
- Reuters says companies claim they use the H-1B visas to recruit the best talent, but critics argue that outsourcing firms use the visas for lower-paid workers in entry-level IT jobs. According to the EIII-US (European Independent Information Industry), an engineering professional organization, the top 10 H-1B visa recipients were outsourcing firms.
We've known since early December that the Trump transition team and key Republican lawmakers planned to overhaul the H-1B visa program. Opponents like Jeff Sessions (R-IN), President-elect Donald Trump's U.S. attorney general nominee, pushed a bill in the Senate that would raise H-1B wages to make visa recipients less attractive to U.S. employers.
Some U.S. workers claim they trained H-1B visa recipients who later replaced them. Trump made saving American jobs a focus of his presidential campaign and now of his soon-to-be administration. Therefore, an overhaul of the H-1B program is highly likely.