The H1-B program, one of the top programs in the tech industry, is seeing tighter and tighter restrictions due to new rules outlined by the DHS.
New rules were outlined this past Tuesday by the Trump administration to tighten restrictions for guest workers on visa programs. One of those programs was the H-1b program, which is one of the favorites among tech industry firms.
These new rules tighten foreign worker eligibilities, meaning employers must meet stricter criteria around the jobs they are hiring for, as well as stricter criteria for how much they pay at those jobs. The new rules also make it more difficult for companies to receive H-1B visas during the annual lottery, which typically gives out 60,000 available foreign worker slots, a number that does not include renewals.
Back in June, the president suspended a range of visa programs for guest workers through the end of 2020. The reason for this suspension was the loss of domestic jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the White House. Trump’s Immigration Restriction aims to eliminate many work programs.
The goal, according to the Trump administration, is to ensure companies that rely on guest workers cannot use cheap, foreign labor as a replacement for American workers.
In a White House press release issued this past Tuesday, the administration stated “for too long, this program has been misused as an inexpensive labor program, replacing American jobs in the process” and that “these critical reforms will improve the quality of the H-1B program without changing the annual statutory cap for H-1B visas.”
Beyond the limited availability of roles that qualify for the H-1B, which requires companies to pay visa workers higher rates than US workers, the same role cuts back on the time that a worker can have a role at a third-party worksite. While that time limit used to be three years, the new rules set it at one year.
Essentially, a company can no longer keep employees in the country for more than 12 months without a renewal if that company has not hired them to work at the primary place of business or its headquarters. In 2019, Indian IT and other consulting companies, which operate in US offices, though are based overseas, were awarded the greatest number of H-1B visas.
One of the most prominent critics of the immigration restrictions from the Trump administration is Google, one of the top 10 H-1B visa sponsors. Google condemned the White House June restrictions as a plan to target immigrants.
Jose Castaneda, a spokesperson from Google, noted that “immigrants have not only fueled technological breakthroughs and created new businesses and jobs but have also enriched American life.”
“America’s continued success depends on companies having access to the best talent from around the world. Particularly now, we need that talent to help contribute to America’s economic recovery.”
Not only will this bill restrict immigrants from coming and working in the United States to make good livings for them and their families, but it will also tear apart families that are here already. Trump’s Immigration Restriction will take a toll on the economy as well.