The US administration has tightened the H1B visa program further, requiring American companies to provide proof that they were unable to find American employees before hiring foreign talent.
A memo, issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, effectively buries H1B visa applicants in extensive paperwork. Employers in the US now have to provide specific details on worker responsibilities, including why they are required and where they will work.
The new process also requires workers to provide “detailed statements”, informing on the specialized duties the visa applicant will perform, the required qualifications, the duration of the job, and the hours to be worked.
The agency says its wants to make sure that the visa holders are not earning less money than promised and that they are not performing “non-specialty” jobs.
Every year, the United States allocates 65,000 H1B visas for highly-skilled foreigners, with an additional 20,000 reserved for overseas people with a US master’s degree.
American tech firms say the US has fewer skilled professionals and that the visa program is vital for the country to retain supremacy in the global technology market.
Even so, the H1B visa program has become a political hot potato, with President Donald Trump suspecting it is replacing American workers.
The latest memo comes amid increasing raids on firms that are employing foreign workers with H1B visas. According to The Register, immigration officials are knocking onto the doors of many businesses to check whether the H1B staff they have on the books are in the right location and doing the roles they received their visas for.