What does President Trump’s executive order mean to H1 Visa aspirants around the world?

Here are the remarks by President Trump on Buy American, Hire American Executive Order | Kenosha, WI

“We are going to enforce the Hire American rules that are designed to protect jobs and wages of workers in the United States.  We believe jobs must be offered to American workers first.  Does that make sense?   Right now, widespread abuse in our immigration system is allowing American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by workers brought in from other countries to fill the same job for sometimes less pay.  This will stop.  American workers have long called for reforms to end these visa abuses.  And today, their calls are being answered for the first time.  That includes taking the first steps to set in motion a long-overdue reform of H1B visas.

Right now, H1B visas are awarded in a totally random lottery — and that’s wrong.  Instead, they should be given to the most-skilled and highest-paid applicants, and they should never, ever be used to replace Americans.  No one can compete with American workers when they’re given a fair and level playing field, which has not happened for decades.”

The order by itself was not very prescriptive. This seems to be one of the executive actions that signals more changes coming down. So what does this mean to H1 Visa aspirants around the world?

After Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” order, “there could be an issue even getting fresh H-1B visas. The order is also likely to hit visa renewals.

  • It is unclear if the order will be applicable to visa applications for the financial year starting October 2017.
  • There are over half-a-dozen bills in the US Congress introduced since January 2017 that call for higher minimum wage of $1,30,000, nearly double from the current levels.
  • Government agencies are to suggest reforms that ensure H-1B visas go to the “most-skilled or highest-paid.”

What does this mean to most H1 Visa aspirants?

  • This is one way to interpret this. Those who are the “most-skilled or highest-paid”  will be selected for Visas.
  • Master’s degree holders would probably be “most-skilled” but not all of them would be “highest-paid.” One could only guess if all those with Master’s would be eligible for visas.

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