- The new visa regulations issued by the US government have poured cold water on highly skilled foreign workers working in the United States .
- Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said that these changes are necessary to protect American workers.
- A separate lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security is expected to be filed as soon as the week of October 19.
The Trump administration announced a comprehensive reform of the H1-B visa program early this month. The Department of Labor has led to a substantial increase in the minimum wage that U.S. companies need to pay to H-1B employees, while the Department of Homeland Security has reduced the types of degrees eligible to apply and shortened the visa period for certain contract workers.
The new visa regulations issued by the US government have poured cold water on highly skilled foreign workers working in the United States.
The H-1B visa is usually the only way for highly skilled foreign citizens, including international students, to work in the United States for a long time. If you cannot get an H-1B visa, you cannot obtain permanent residency.
The Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli said it is expected that about one-third of H-1B visa applications will be rejected under the new rules.
Zhang Le, who works for a technology giant in Seattle, told China Business News that this visa reform has had a great impact on him. “According to the new standard version, it is basically difficult for Seattle to qualify for the lottery”.
This is also bad news for international students who are looking for work and those who have already obtained H1-B visas.
“I feel that most people will consider going to Canada where the lottery is better. Because even if you have already gotten the lottery, you still have to meet this requirement when you find a new job later,” he said.
Recently, the ITServe Alliance, a trade organization representing information technology companies, has filed a lawsuit against the Labor Department in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. A separate lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security is expected to be filed as soon as the week of October 19.
According to the new wage requirements of the Ministry of Labor, a junior employee who wants to apply for an H1-B visa must get a level of 45 percentile or more of the local wage, compared with the previous rule only 17 percentile.
Senior employees need to reach the 95th percentile, much higher than the current 67. For example, a junior electrical engineer in San Jose, California, must earn at least $127,000 to apply for a visa, while the salary threshold before the new regulations take effect is less than $90,000.
In recent years, the company’s basic salary for entry-level employees has been around $110,000 to $120,000. However, the new rules require that the basic income of junior employees reach nearly $140,000, and only% of employees meet this condition.
Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said that these changes are necessary to protect American workers. The government believes that Americans are being held down by foreign workers holding H-1B visas. “The U.S. immigration law should put U.S. workers first.” Pizzella said. “The H-1B visa program does not require strict wages for foreign workers. As a result, U.S. workers are removed from high-paying, middle-class jobs. Driven away and replaced by foreign workers.”