Tech companies are on alert after news of President Donald Trump's plans to overhaul the rules concerning H-1B visas. The administration has drafted an executive order which could change the way American companies recruit people, as it would make them try and hire Americans first, and if they have to recruit foreign workers, priority would have to be given to the most highly paid. H-1B visas are generally used by Indian tech firms like Infosys and Wipro to send skilled workers to the United States.
The bill, called the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness act of 2017 was put forth by congresswoman Zoe Lofgren. Amongst other things, the bill aims to reset the annual wage for H-1B visa holders from $60,000, to $130,000. This means that companies will have to bear higher costs for recruiting foreign workers.
“My legislation refocuses the H-1B program to its original intent – to seek out and find the best and brightest from around the world, and to supplement the U.S. workforce with talented, highly-paid, and highly-skilled workers who help create jobs here in America, not replace them,” said Lofgren. “It offers a market-based solution that gives priority to those companies willing to pay the most. This ensures American employers have access to the talent they need, while removing incentives for companies to undercut American wages and outsource jobs.” Foreign work visas were originally established to help US companies recruit foreign workers, if it couldn’t find qualified workers locally.