Trump further targets tech-friendly work visa programs in latest immigration restrictions

The Trump administration on Tuesday outlined new rules tightening restrictions placed on guest worker visa programs, including the H-1B program favored by tech industry firms.



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© Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images


The rules tighten eligibility around foreign workers, so employers must meet more stringent criteria around the jobs they’re hiring for and how much they’re paying. That may make it harder for companies to receive H-1B visas as part of the annual lottery that awards 60,000 slots to foreign workers, not including renewals. The new rules follow a June order from President Donald Trump suspending a range of guest worker visa programs through the end of the year, with the White House citing domestic job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic as the motivator.

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The tech and IT industries that rely on foreign talent now face more hiring restrictions

The Trump administration says the goal is to ensure companies

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Trump immigration policies a source of frustration for employers

Through policy, the Trump administration has made it clear it is looking to minimize employer use of the H-1B visa program, the immigration pathway for highly-skilled foreign nationals to help meet key talent needs in tech, healthcare, and finance, among others. Talent consultants, researchers and employment attorneys say the administration’s continuous effort to complicate the process for hiring this talent has caused “a lot of frustration” for employers.

“It shakes the whole core of the organization,” Eileen Scofield, an attorney in Alston & Bird’s labor and employment group, told HR Dive. “It incentivizes them to go and build their infrastructure someplace else where they don’t have to worry about losing key people.”

In the early months of the pandemic, the administration declared a series of cessations of entry for H-1B applicants and other foreign nationals, citing public health and labor market concerns. Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of

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