The H1B Visa Debate Continues

July 26th, 2017

h1b visa

By Eric Frisch, 10x Management Writer

In April of this year, President Trump cracked down on the controversial H-1B visa program, suspending “premium processing” of the visas for 6 months. The visas were popular in the tech sector as an avenue to hire foreign workers in the United States.

Here’s how the H-1B visa works: if a foreign worker possess a certain degree or a specialized set of skills, then they would be eligible under the program to work in the United StatesĀ for anywhere between three and six years.

“Premium processing” allowed a company to pay $1,125 to fast-track an application through the system. This is a small price to pay over a six-year employment cycle. An application that would normally take several months to process would advance through the system within 15 days.

President Trump felt that many companies, especially in the tech sector, were exploiting the H-1B visa program to avoid paying high wages to American workers. Tech companies, Trump claimed, would of course prefer to hire foreign talent in the United States who are willing to work for much less.

Tech companies responded by saying that the talent they need is not available from American workers. Other countries are ahead of the U.S. when it comes to educating and training tech workers. According to the tech industry, foreign talent is the only possible way forward.

Regardless, President Trump denounced the H-1B visa program as a bad deal, and swiftly acted to suspend the program.

However, according to NBC, the United States has just resumed the program for certain educational and governmental institutions:

“The overall suspension remains in place but United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said on Monday in a statement that premium processing would resume for some applications from educational and research-oriented organizations exempt from the cap.”

It would appear that certain exceptions are being made, but the suspension still applies to businesses. What do you think the best way forward is? Do you agree with Trump on the ban of premium processing of H-1B visas for businesses? Or would you like to see it brought back?

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