US Visa Program: How Trump's plan could change who can get work visas in the US

Source: AP
Source: AP

As part of his first 100 days blueprint, Donald Trump vowed to investigate "abuses" of work visa programs, a remark that could signal stronger restrictions for skilled laborers who want to enter the U.S. 

Those who hold H-1B might be the most affected under Trump's would-be policies. The H-1B visa program allows 65,000 workers and 20,000 graduate students workers to enter the U.S. every year. The tech industry, which has largely benefited from highly skilled labor, would have to fight tooth and nail to protect the visa program, according to Fortune

Tech companies have largely benefitted from programs that welcome high-skilled labor. This may change under Donald Trump.
Source: 
Paul Sakuma/AP

For the most part, H-1B visas are granted to professionals who hold a degree from higher-level institutions. Companies such as Google and Microsoft hire highly skilled foreign workers, who are also eligible to secure resident status. However, analysts point out that Trump would limit H-1B visas issued to Indian outsourcing firms.

India is very likely to be affected by Trump's immigration laws. Indian companies such as Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services use H-1B visas to send workers to the U.S. In terms of student enrollment, China and India could experience a setback under said policies, as both countries make up 47% of the overall international student representation in the U.S., according to the Institute of International Education.

It remains to be seen whether Trump would place harsher immigration regulations since he has sent mixed signals regarding H-1B visas. During his presidential campaign, Trump criticized the visa program but he also called it "an important way to retain foreign talent," according to Fortune.

Nevertheless, the nomination of Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general — a well known anti-immigrant voice — represents a big red flag for H-1B visa advocates. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Robert Valencia

Robert is a news staff writer based in New York. His writing has appeared in the World Politics Review, Fusion, and the Miami Herald. He's a frequent guest in English- and Spanish-speaking media, including CNN, Univision, Al Jazeera, Public Radio International, and Voice of America. You can reach him at rvalencia@mic.com

MORE FROM

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.

Will Justice Anthony Kennedy retire at end of Supreme Court term? Here's what we know.

Rumors that the 80-year-old swing justice may leave the bench are fueling fear of a second Trump pick on the nation's high court.

3 states and D.C. allow same flammable building materials behind Grenfell Tower fire

The causes of London's Grenfell Tower are similar to the justifications used to waive fire regulations in the U.S.

New Jersey bill would require kids to be taught how to interact with police

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade would receive the education.

UK Parliament hit with cyberattack

Members of Parliament had difficulty accessing their emails Saturday in the wake of the attack.

Istanbul LGBT pride march banned by government for safety concerns

A right-wing nationalist group has vowed to stop the protest.

Compounds seized by US in December reportedly contained material useful in Russia probe

The Trump administration has reportedly been considering returning the New York and Maryland compounds to Russia.