Trump signs executive order targeting specialty work visas: 5 things to know

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"With this action we are sending a powerful signal to the world that were going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first", he said at the Snap-On Inc headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The new rules are likely to allow work visas to highly skilled people who fall under a certain salary bracket. The visas are in high demand and given out using a lottery system.

The number of applications for H-1B visas fell to 199,000 this year from 236,000 in 2016, according U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It also proposes changes, such as awarding H-1B visas to guest workers with the best skills and highest potential wages, rather than through a random lottery as is done now.

Trump touted his "Buy American, Hire American" executive order signed Tuesday, promising that it will protect American workers from unfair treatment by foreign countries. Some players in the tech sector have for long complained that most of the 85,000 visas that are awarded every year go to outsourcing companies which end up hiring tech workers that are relatively lower-skilled.

"The H-1B program plays an important role in addressing this need, but it can be improved". After payment of an additional 1,225 USA dollars in charge, USCIS responds typically in 15 calendar days, whereas standard H-1B petitions may take anywhere between three to six months to receive a judgement.

Specifically targeted: The H-1B visa program, which allows 85,000 foreign workers into the United States each year to take specific high-skilled jobs with US companies. "Right now, the widespread abuse in our immigration system is allowing American workers... to be replaced by workers brought in from other countries to fill the same job, for sometimes less pay".

The "buy American, hire American" directive does not make any immediate changes to the H-1B system, however, but commissions the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to review the way H-1B visas are granted. "The reality of it is that employers are not required to recruit and try to hire USA workers before they hire an H-1B worker".

Earlier in the week, the Trump administration also targeted companies such as Infosys and TCS in a press briefing.

It's unclear how the program may change, but India says America still has a shortage of skilled workers that the H-1B system was created to ease. Trump wants to tighten some of the rules in the program to "prevent fraud or abuse". Currently, the cap on H1-B visas stands at 65,000, out of which 25,000-35,000 are issued to Indian nationals. "By contrast, the median Silicon Valley software engineer's wage is probably around Dollars 150,000", the White House official added. For instance, in rural areas where doctors are hard to find or non-existent.

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