US President Donald Trump directed his administration to “reform” the H-1B visa system and move in the direction of merit-based immigration. Trump issued a proclamation to temporarily suspend H-1B and other work visas till the end of the year
The Trump Administration will reform the immigration system to prioritise the highest-skilled workers and protect American jobs, it said.
Under these reforms, the H-1B programme will prioritise those workers who are offered the highest wage, ensuring that the highest-skilled applicants are admitted, the White House said.
The Trump Administration will also close loopholes that have allowed employers in the US to replace American workers with low-cost foreign labour, it said.
These reforms will help protect the wages of American workers and ensure that foreign labour entering our country is high skilled and does not undercut the United States labour market, the White House added.
Noting that there is a cap on H-1B visas of 85,000 every year, an official said that last year, 2,25,000 applications were received for those visas.
The president has instructed his officials to get rid of the lottery and replace it with ranking the salaries — so the top 85,000 salary offers among the 225,000 or so applicants will get visas.
This will drive both the wage-level and the skill-level of the H-1B applicants up. It will eliminate competition with Americans, it will reduce American competition in these industries at the entry-level, and will do more to get the best and the brightest, the official asserted.