WASHINGTON – The Trump administration announced an overhaul of the H-1B visa program for high-skilled foreign workers, which would require employers to pay significantly higher salaries to H-1B workers, narrowing the type of degree an applicant deserves And can shorten the length. Visa for some contract workers.
The changes, initiated by the Department of Labor and Homeland Security on Tuesday, will likely make it harder to qualify for a coveted visa.
Labor deputy secretaries, Mr. Cucanelli and Patrick Pizella, said the changes were necessary to protect American workers, which the administration believes are underpaid to foreign workers on H-1B visas who do the same job Pay less for
“America’s immigration laws should put American workers first,” Mr. Pizella said, pointing to what the H-1B visa program described as insufficient stringent wage requirements on foreign workers. “The result is American workers being evicted from good-paying, middle-class jobs and being replaced by foreign workers,” he said.
A change of policy is expected from 2017, when the administration first announced its intention to resume the H-1B visa program. Even before these formal changes were announced in 2016, according to data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Trump administration has tightened the issuance of H-1B visas, rejecting 15.1% of applications with 6.1% in 2019.
The labor department’s pay scale revision would increase the required pay, with employers paying their employees on H-1B visas. The requirements, which are scheduled to take effect on Thursday, are based on a survey of the range of salaries paid in particular occupations.
Under the new rule, the required pay level for entry-level workers will increase to the 45th percentile of their profession distribution, up to the 17th percentile from the current requirement. The need for the highest-skilled workforce will increase from the 67th percentile to 95 percent.
Because those required pay increases take effect this week, current H-1B holders may not qualify to renew their visas unless their employer raises the salary according to them.
Write Michelle Hackman at [email protected]
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