How Trump Could Change the H1B Program

While the US population (and the rest of the world) are still reeling from Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, foreign workers who want to secure an H1B visa may be anxious about the program’s future.  There is a mixed opinion about how the new president will deal with the issue of non-immigrant foreign workers, but there are probably a few outcomes that we can anticipate and plan for ahead of time.

What Changes Could Be in Store?

It is common for political candidates to veer away from statements made during the campaign, when they face the reality of balancing competing interests in the country.  However, we can probably count on some type of change to the H1B program since he did mention it repeatedly as a core issue for his candidacy.

Here are a few of his comments on specific aspects of the H1B program:

  • On foreign students graduating in the US: He believes that talented F1 foreign students should be allowed to remain and work in the US so that the country can benefit from the education they received here, instead of exporting it back to their country.  This is good news for students if he sticks by this position.
  • On the tech industries need for IT workers:  He supports the use of foreign tech workers (mostly from India) in Silicon Valley, but we can expect some type of change to the prevailing wage standard.  This move would reduce the potential for what he calls ‘pushing US workers out of positions in favor of lower paid H1B workers.’

He said last March, that H1B workers are “temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay.  I will end forever the use of the H1B as a cheap labor program.”

Those are strong words, and shows exactly where any reform might take place in his policies, as this is line with his protectionist immigration stance.  But this does not mean the program will end, it will just have tighter restrictions for sponsoring companies.

The Trade Relationship With India: A Bargaining Chip?

Trade is important to President-Elect Trump, and he has mentioned India specifically as an important trading partner.  Since the majority of H1B visas are awarded to Indian IT workers, it is possible that India could have some influence in preventing drastic changes to the H1B program.  

Assuming that the wage levels are adjusted in some way, this would the clear the way for IT companies to continue hiring Indian workers, albeit at a higher cost.  This would the added benefit of reducing the abuse of the program by so called “consulting” companies that take advantage of Indian workers and do not compensate them as promised.

The 2017 H1B Visa Season is Underway

Any of these shifts in policy should not affect the 2017 H1B visa season or lottery.  The only possible imminent change (contained in several proposed bills already in Congress) is the requirement for companies to show that a US worker had access to the position.  The current wage level for this requirement is $60,000 and it could increase to $100,000.  This burden in on the sponsor however, and it should not prevent applicants from seeking a position in their specialty occupation.

You can be contacting potential sponsors now for entry to the April 2017 lottery, or even better be seeking a cap-exempt position as we have discussed in other articles in this blog.  If you have questions about the H1B program, please contact us at any time.

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  • November 10th, 2016
  • 35

35 thoughts on “How Trump Could Change the H1B Program”

  1. Hi I am a Lawyer from India , I did my Masters from USA last year and have also passed the NY bar exam. Please tell me my chances of finding a sponsor for H1B visa.

    1. Probably you can not through h1. It is only for STEM category science, tech, eng and mathematics. find gud immigration attorney over here

    2. Honestly speaking very slim…unless you move to USA through some India-based Law firm having business / tie up with USA law firms. There is no scarcity of law professionals in USA. In fact Law is one of the most hyped profession here in USA. Many graduates from Law colleges are finding it difficult to get suitable jobs.


    3. It’s time that American college graduates had job opportunities. The millennials have faced a horrible economy and job market and have not been able to make it on their own because they are shut out by H1B workers. Go home.

    4. I know plenty of lawyers who started with an H1B. However you might need to show above average merit to induce a firm to sponsor you.
      Depending on your area of expertise this might be possible. Approach as many hi brow law firms as possible.

  2. Hello Sir,

    With respect my name is Muhammad Taimoor-ul-Hassan. I am from Pakistan in Gujranwala city. My age is 26 year old. I was student of business studies so complete our education.Now i am still a job in Air travel agency. I am very honest,noble and trust able parson.
    I want to started a own transport travel business(City To City) in Pakistan. I have needed some vehicles for started transport travel business, but no money in my hand and not i have in bank account, I have needed finance loan almost 100,000.00$ (one hundred thousand dollar).I will be Loan amount returning in 5 years. I am not fake person,but i faced many fake person because i am trying to take a Loan. you can see latest fraud with me in attachment photos and some my photos with my passport scan copy. this is my email and my cell phone number is +923338198395. you can call any time. I have a very good successful business Plan only.
    Therefore, I contact you for Loan help. I have need your financial loan help. here many banks provide me Loan but that amount is not enough because he give me max 2500,000PKR. My consider you are famous person you know many big business investors and you are also a businessman. So please help me i am not demanding any Charity aid I want just take a loan for business. My all business plan is ready, i wanted just prepared now only but i am still awaiting loan amount for business.
    So My business Plan is:-
    You give me 100,000$(one hundred thousand Dollar) Loan for starting business and this loan amount converted Pakistani rupee is almost 98,00,000 PKR (ninety eight hundred thousand Pakistani rupee). Now i told you about our business in Pakistani rupees, I hope you all know rightly and easily Pakistani rupees converted dollars.
    Let you give me 98,00,000 for loan and as you know i wanted to starting transport travel business. Therefore, I have needed two vehicles and every vehicle have been 29 passenger sitter and my vehicle travel Gujranwala city to Lahore city, the city to city travel distance is almost 80 KM. My every vehicle completed 2 routes daily Gujranwala to Lahore and Lahore to Gujranwala and every passenger paid rent 160 per set of one side travel. Also have needed 2 driver for driving vehicles.
    Now i tall You how i will use Loan amount:-
    Loan amount = 9800000
    One Vehicle price = 3500000
    Two vehicle price = 3500000+3500000 = 7000000
    Now 9800000-7000000 = 2800000.
    2800000 this amount i used insurance, making routes, registrations, and travelling token in others word i ready to legal documents according to Pakistani rules.
    Now i tall you my daily proceeding and profits:-
    Per passenger paid rent = 160
    Vehicle sitter = 29
    160 * 29 = 4640
    now i paid travel bus stand rent + 10 litter diesel fuel + two tool tax almost = 2100
    4640-2100 = 2540 this is one side travel route income and almost time spend 1 hour,30 minutes with terrific. every vehicle doing our 2 routes city to city completely easily. Now one side income = 2540 * 4 = 10160,
    Now 10160-300 for daily driver expenses = 9860 daily income per vehicle,if every vehicle doing traveling routes 25 days per month so monthly income is:-
    Daily income = 9860 * 25 days = 246500 per month income now i paid one driver salary and one vehicle caring,repairing,washing and other charges = 80000,
    I paid Driver salary per month = 45000 and vehicle caring,repairing,washing and other charges = 35000,
    Now 246500-80000 = 166500 per month net profit, if 2 vehicles monthly profit = 166500 * 2 = 333000 per month net profit income. this is my business plan So kindly help me Please??
    I am awaiting your reply..!
    GoD Blessed You Always,
    M Taimoor.

    1. You know the FBI can bust you for these scams. Its very simple they can monitor the IP address of the device you posted this crap from and simple contact the police in Gujranwala.

    1. Lol, illiterate people say this and those who don’t have talent to survive … we are proud to here Telugu and Tamilians are talented.

  3. Hi all,

    I am here now on an H1B. I am concerned for future. I know that the rules will be tighter probably with a higher pay structure for anyone who will be sponsored for an H1B. But not all jobs on H1B deserve a $100K pay. So this will be interesting to see what happens – will companies raise salary of all H1B (new) or will they stop hiring who needs an H1B and only hire people with GC and pay them $100K ++ .
    In all it surely is a concern.
    But in the flipside, it might have an indirect effect on faster GC processing as the H1B crowd will reduce.

    Lets see.

    As far as the lawyer seeking job/H1B is concerned – even you can get an job here since you have all the required degrees, but for that you have to actively network with firms that may beed you or your skill sets. Remember, being part of a law firm can always help you figure out a way to sponsor you. So I will tell you to not worry about the visa but ensure that you get an offer. If company want you, they will do anything to get you here.

    Thanks ,

  4. Suppose a student (on F1 VISA) want to go to the USA for Masters degree considering that he/she could get or do a job there. How could it be the rational thinking ? As far as I know, STEM student could get 36 months time to find a job. If he got a job at this time would it possible to do this as the full time like US citizen (without discrimination)?
    Most of the student are scared of the aftermath situation of Donald Trump’s rules. They might avoid the USA as their higher education destination because after education they need to return to their home country.

    Please sort out the fact ASAP.

    1. Excellent discussion. If what the article claims happens, it would be end of our IT industry. Kodak movement for Indian Technology sector or much ado about nothing ?

      1. Thank for the above link. It is indeed a brilliant writeup. I lost my job to H1B workers more than a decade ago and was never able to find meaningful work again. While I feel bad for Indian Workers who will be losing their American Dream soon, the situation has reached this level due to rampant abuse of H1B Visas by Indian Staffing Companies. American Middle Class has been leveled off to build Indian Middle Class (IT Workers). I have mixed feelings as some people will be going back home and I feel their pain while our future generations will have something to look forward to. We have sold the American Dream to Staffing Companies. Competent and best of Tech Workers are always and will always be welcome in America. This is a brilliant piece written by one of your own. I have forwarded this article to the Trump transition team as well as many senators.

        1. As Judith said, H1b abuse is so high that guys in USA who are highly skilled and face client heat on daily basis are paid so low as Indian companies started bringing every level of roles paying 60-80K against US based workers. Now Recruiters interview from India to recruit guys here for mere salary. All American jobs are hit badly because skilled are replaced by anybody from India. In addition, Indian senior managers sit in their own world with fat big salaries,bonuses, perks, resorts, outings, lunches, exotic trips trying to command resources in USA. All the senior management in India are paid so high at the cost poor IT techies working in USA. They came to a point where they decide US employees salaries, increments and promotions sitting in India and making lives miserable and highly dependable. If you raise your voice, H1b with 50K will be replaced immediately. Now with new rule, I would like to see these fat guys take a huge bite in their perks, pay good for people who really work hard and client facing day in day out. If you want skilled, pay good otherwise run the show from your place.

        2. Judith is correct and it’s time that the U.S. began taking care of its own people, our children, students, veterans, U.S. workers and our seniors. Giving away, or more appropriately outsourcing, the American Dream, our jobs and career opportunities, to workers from China or India is disgraceful. Many Americans after the recession were never able to get back on their feet after facing job losses, foreclosures and financial ruin, despite Obama’s cheerleading on the economy. Displaced workers were then treated to fake job ads, news about Wall St. rebounding and no economic recovery that Democrats were touting. Eight years later voter anger over the stalled and disappointing economy swept Donald Trump into office. The liberal elites were more concerned about identity politics than economic hardships of millions of Americans. All this, H1B visas, outsourcing, 99 cent store sub-economy, beggars who solicit in front of businesses, welfare/food stamps and the society Obama helped create must all come to an end. It’s time to restore American pride by putting our Americans back to work and making contributions to a better and less depressed society, so we don’t follow in the steps of places like Detroit.

    1. Unfortunately, very little unless you’re from the 4 major IIT’s and/or have extensive contacts in the United States.
      Your best bet would be to invest in a 2year Masters Program at a top 20 engineering school.

  5. HI

    I have got an H1B in 2013 and ended in 2016 august. But due to my studies in did not use it completely. I am into IT INDUSTRY WITH EXPERIANCE of 13 years especially in data ware housing .am I eligible to apply for an exception cap with the same employer or a new sponser.
    please let me know whether I will be able to find a good position.

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