Requirements for H-1B Visa Shouldn’t Be Overly Narrow

The Trump administration announced an overhaul of a visa program for high-skilled foreign workers.



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michael reynolds/Shutterstock

With the new H-1B visa requirements linking a degree in a specific field and job description, I doubt whether Sundar Pichai head of Alphabet/Google, whose degrees are in metallurgical engineering and materials science, would have gotten an H-1B to work in the information-technology sector (“U.S. Imposes New Curbs on H-1B Visas,” U.S. News, Oct. 7).

If you are going to hire someone on a H-1B visa, it makes sense to recruit the best possible and most-skilled person who brings in knowledge and skills in multiple disciplines. The concept that an applicant must have a degree in a specific field in which she or he is looking for work is outdated. The new changes don’t account for the highly interdisciplinary and convergent nature of the complex, real problems

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Trump to tighten visa requirements for highly-skilled foreign workers

The U.S. must do its all ‘to make sure the American worker is put first,’ says Chad Wolf, acting DHS secretary.

Just four weeks before the 2020 election, the Trump administration is again moving to tighten its immigration policies. 

On Tuesday, significant changes were announced to the H-1B visa program which enables highly-skilled workers from foreign nations to be employed in the United States. 

“We must do everything we can within the bounds of the law to make sure the American worker is put first,” says Chad Wolf, acting DHS secretary. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
“We must do everything we can within the bounds of the law to make sure the American worker is put first,” says Chad Wolf, acting DHS secretary. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

The restrictionist policies have been framed as a way to protect American jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, for years, tech companies have long fought against changes to the H-1B program it uses to hire skilled engineers from several countries.

“With millions of Americans looking for work, and as the economy continues its recovery,

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US toughens visa requirements for foreign workers

The Trump administration says the US will make further restrictions to its H-1B visa programme in an attempt to make it more expensive for American companies to hire workers from overseas. 

While not releasing the full details of the new regulations, the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security said they would ask companies to pay higher salaries to workers using the visas in order to prevent them from undercutting American workers, and would narrow the list of occupations the visa could be used for. 

“These changes will strengthen our foreign worker programmes and secure American workers’ opportunities for stable, good-paying jobs,” said US labour secretary Eugene Scalia.

Chad Wolf, the acting homeland security secretary, said the world had entered an era where “economic security is homeland security”. 

Silicon Valley depends heavily on H-1B visas to hire engineers, scientists and coders from overseas, but the visa is widely used

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