The Trump administration is going to “reform” the H-1B visa system to prioritise the highest skilled workers, said the White House officials. According to them, President Donald Trump has directed his administration to move the visa in the direction of merit-based immigration.
The White House said this in a statement soon after Trump issued a proclamation to temporarily suspend H-1B and other work visas till the end of the year. The main intention of the H-1B programme is to prioritise those workers who are offered the highest wage. At the same time, it will also make sure that the highest-skilled applicants are admitted.
The White House said, the inadequacy of allowing employers in the US to replace American workers with low-cost foreign labour, will no more be accepted. The move will protect the wages of American workers, increasing the flow of highly skilled foreign workers
“The more permanent actions that he is directing us to take include reforming the H-1B system to move in the direction of a more merit-based system. You hear the president talk all the time about getting the best and the brightest, and you also hear him talking about protecting American jobs. So, these reforms will do both,” a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.
“Up until this year, those visas have been distributed through random lottery… The president has instructed us to get rid of the lottery and replace it with ranking the salaries — so the top 85,000 salary offers among the 225,000 or so applicants will get visas,” the official said.
As per the order of the President, the loopholes will be closed that have allowed employers to domestically outsource their labor by replacing American workers with low-cost foreign labor. Trump among other things has instructed to change the prevailing wage calculation and clean it up, with respect to H-1B wages.