White House May Suspend H-1B, Other Visas Temporarily

The Trump administration may suspend the H-1B visa through at least October 1, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.  

The Journal, which drew its information from unnamed administration officials “familiar with the talks,” suggested that such a policy would ban new H-1B holders from their workplace throughout the duration of the suspension, but that those who already have their H-1B would be unaffected.

In addition, the proposal could impact other visas such as the L-1 and the H-4 EAD, which allows the spouses of H-1B holders to work. A White House spokesperson told the Journal that: “The administration is currently evaluating a wide range of options, formulated by career experts, to protect American workers and job seekers, especially disadvantaged and underserved citizens—but no decisions of any kind have been made.”

Other reports suggest that the Trump administration may carve out exceptions for visa holders working on COVID-19 response, including healthcare professionals who are studying the virus. And even if there’s no temporary ban on nonimmigrant visas, rumors suggest that the White House may attempt to restrict the H-1B program in other ways, such as raising the minimum required wage to $250,000

(With regard to the minimum required wage for the H-1B, it’s worth noting the recent spat between the Economic Policy Institute and the Cato Institute, with analysts from both organizations arguing whether H-1B holders are under- or over-paid.)

At the end of May, a variety of tech companies (including Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, and more) co-signed a letter asking President Trump to avoid restricting “even for temporary periods” the L-1, H-1B, F-1, or H-4 nonimmigrants. “Constraints on our human capital are likely to result in unintended consequences and may cause substantial economic uncertainty if we have to recalibrate our personnel based on country of birth,” began the letter (PDF), which then plunged into the dangers of talent “churn” on companies’ productivity and capacity.

But with unemployment high due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration may tweak policies in order to encourage more domestic hiring. Meanwhile, H-1B application denial rates remain historically high.

65 Responses to “White House May Suspend H-1B, Other Visas Temporarily”

  1. Not sure H1-B suspension can be implemented now but Trump is working hard for US Citizens. The fraud H/L’ visas denial rate increase, deporting illegals, employment growth (virus time layoff are temporary) are the examples.

  2. PatriotUS1776

    It’s about time that this country focuses on its own citizens before offshoring or paying meager salaries to overseas recipients, in turn displacing highly educated and knowledgeable U.S. citizens!

  3. H1B suspension

    over 44 million unemployed out of which 5 million unemployed are US citizens with IT, STEM. Software, Highly talented, critical for US economy, AI skills looking actively for work. Last US wants is foreign H1B imported and add burden on already impacted labor market. H1B is a scientist and nobel prize winner etc and gambits made by lobbyist and immigration lawyers and far form actual facts. US has ample skills already to support economy when it comes up. Every govt of respective country is taking care of its own citizens FIRST. US should take care of own US citizens and shd not budge to lobbyist, immigration lawyers incorporated, Outsourcing companies, IT Body Shoppers and greedy corporates

    • Anonymous

      Where you got this data? this is total bullshit – If you want to get the real picture, go and talk to HR of companies – they will tell you how hard is to get skilled people even in this market – you will not get the job just because you are a citizen – you must have the skill to perform job duties.

      • Dont talk about skills. I know the current h1b skill set. What they have and what they dont have. In fact I interview a lot of h1bs where most of them don’t have any. They just lie in their resume to jut land in a job. If there is no internet they are doomed totally. They cannot code even a simple line without referring to google.

        • Who the hell do you think you are what damn skills you posses? check if you have a job in this country then come here and comment you moron? you say all H1B uses google to code, how dare you . MAY BE YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT IN THE PAST, THAT’S HOW YOU ARE SURE ABOUT THIS. If you think the skills are available here, then why did companies like FB, MICROSOFT, GOOGLE, IBM, ETC have office in idina? use your brain before you comment your BS here.

      • Richard Backer Dawson Jr.

        Please spare me your crap. I’m a software developer and I can tell you most large companies hire foreigners over US citizens. As I told my son and his friends don’t go in IT when in college.

      • Although I am happy for the overall actions taken to limit this program, The president, just like everyone else, is afraid to do anything that can cause criticism against him. Especially this year.

        For so many years he has always profess “America First” But when it comes right down to it, it is all a mask. He is never going to suspend or eliminate this program. However, the proposed action to raise the minimum salary to $250,000 could have the desired impact we are all hoping. I really hope he does do this change. I believe this will cause companies to start investing on US education and even promote training of US Citizens for their employees.

      • Please. There are the 800 Walmart IT workers who just had to train their H1b replacements. Start with that – actual FACT – instead of talking about not being able to find American workers.

    • Anonymous

      I get calls almost on daily basis but Companies are so used to paying H1B rates that they expect to offer that to us, americans and impose a W2. They will not get far with me with a W2 specially since the work is in San Francisco where rental for a 1 bedroom is minimum $3000.00 per month. If I take a job in the Bay Area, that would mean I have to do it on a C2C in order to deduct transportation and lodging expenses. Sorry, W2 is not an option for me as I will end up with a max of 40% net.

      This is just another effect of the H1B – pushing down wages – H1B workers living together in small apartments. This is INSANE. It makes me angry as hell.

      • That is true, but don’t be mislead. When you do C2C or 1099 you also end up paying for Self Employment taxes and you also double the amount of taxes you have to pay. The additional $5/hr they want to pay is not really worth it. As they companies are the ones that actually benefit from it because they don’t have to pay their part of the taxes.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, but I can’t deduct transportation and temporary lodging if I go in as W2. I’m fine with 1099 taxes as long as I can deduct what it would cost me to move temporarily from east coast to west coast to do a contract job.

    • I lost my job twice due to India out source or H1 visa. It’s hard to compete with it. Companies don’t care as long as they pay much less labor and make more profits. Right now, a lot people are lay-off and it is not easy to find other one.

  4. Joseph

    H1-B suspension will be only temporary and will not have any effect on unemployment. Now days with so much information available at your fingertips everyone can become expert, there is no need for any special skill. The only skill you need is to use a search engine properly. Asking product vendors for a solution and using search engine for a solution is not a skill. H1-B is only benefiting the modern greedy H1-B slave masters and their associates. H1-B visa is glorified form of modern slavery.

    • oh really. Big companies only posses 20% of h1b rest everybody end up in consulting without any skills. How do you know Americans are unskilled? do you have fact zi have facts that Indians on h1b have no skills and far more lazy. Send me your resume if you have real skills I will hire you.

    • IT Graybeard

      @Pradeep – you have it totally and completely backwards. Let me help as I have worked with enough H1B to know how they think.
      This is very GOOD for the US companies. They will now have to pay REASONABLE wages and get A GREAT DEAL MORE output from highly educated American tech workers WITH -> REAL <- CERTIFICATIONS AND DIPLOMAS.

    • Dave Roberts

      Pradeep, please do not insult American workers. India is a very nationalistic country. A country where American IT workers are often not hired. Silicon Valley is flooded with H1B workers. The reason is lower wages, Displacement of American workers for low wage tech workers is immoral. But big tech is in denial

    • Antiderp

      Right, buddy… Sure.
      Then how come the company I work for just dumped all but one of their H1Bs? They all sucked, turned in bad untested code, it was definitely some of the worst idiots I’ve ever seen. Didn’t even know the command line. I actually got asked what the “CD” command did. Very lazy, very unskilled.

    • Joseph

      1. CHEAP LABOR DOES NOT MEAN SKILLED WORKER.(STOP BEING CHEAP)
      2. SEARCHING USING SEARCH ENGINE IS NOT A SKILL.
      3. ASKING A VENDOR FOR A SOLUTION IS NOT ALWAYS THE SOLUTION

      • Who the hell do you think you are what damn skills you posses? check if you have a job in this country then come here and comment you moron? you say all H1B uses google to code, how dare you . MAY BE YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT IN THE PAST, THAT’S HOW YOU ARE SURE ABOUT THIS. If you think the skills are available here, then why did companies like FB, MICROSOFT, GOOGLE, IBM, ETC have office in idina? use your brain before you comment your BS here.

    • @Pradeep

      unskilled American tech workers WoW, so you want to make US a thirdworld country like India. what skills are you talking about when Indians do not even have basic skills. They Lie 90 % inthe resumes, they try to hire only Indians and more precisely only from their language speaking people, and they always discuss how good India and Hindu religion is. No respect for a country where you are working.

  5. The demoralization of white folks is in top gear. Big tech is flooding these people in and do not care about you or your family. The Govt is also full on board with your genocide.
    Current events and rapidly changing demographics tell us that. Our leaders aren’t interested in helping us.

    • nc1996

      @Joe, You are worried about “white genocide”? How can 2% of the population can commit genocide against 70% of the population? However, you need to speak with your white Catholic brothers who have been aiding and abetting illegal immigration since the first amnesty for 4 million Catholics/Hispanics in 1986. Now, the Democratic (aka Catholic) party is at it again — one million green cards for DACA illegals. There are 30 million or more Hispanic illegals in this country. Hispanics are the largest ethnic group in 4 big states. Whites will become the minority very soon, replaced by amnestied Hispanic illegals and their anchor-bay descendants as the majority, aided by your white Catholic brothers.

  6. MakSid

    This is the good time to suspend the all H1b visas. There are more than 40 millions American out of job. Cannot justify to employ the foreigners. I agree with President’s policy to give jobs to American first rather to Indians.
    Sid

  7. @Pradeep

    unskilled American tech workers WoW, so you want to make US a thirdworld country like India. what skills are you talking about when Indians do not even have basic skills. They Lie 90 % inthe resumes, they try to hire only Indians and more precisely only from their language speaking people, and they always discuss how good India and Hindu religion is. No respect for a country where you are working.

    • Anonymous

      yes. They are parasites. Work here, earn here, talk trash about America and Americans. Send all money to India. See IT department of ANY big corporation of America, infested by fraud people from top to bottom. Fraud at every level. Not bringing skills to America, but bringing fraud and corruption synonymous with India to America.

  8. I agree with the suspension of H1B visas until American workers can get back on their feet. As a skilled IT Engineer and Project Manager of 20 years I am having a hard time finding a job, as are many of my friends, family, and neighbors. The problem is severe here in Arizona, where 150 people a day are moving here from California and other neighboring states. Competition is fierce and some companies are cashing in on getting good candidates at a lower wage. It has opened the doors for overseas contracting companies to flood the market with underskilled workers with fluffed up resumes and a disposition to work for less.

    • Geronimo

      Uh, yeah, some of us actually are Native Americans in part, and are highly educated. (Why am I responding to this fool?) And yes, American IT jobs have been going to India because it is cheaper for corporations. It is very sad to see the fall of IT in the US over the past 20+ years.

    • AmericanSTEMWorker

      You are sorely naive to miss the racism (against whites and blacks) and corruption they import from abroad. We are the most tolerant country in the world, but this scam is testing some people’s limits.

  9. I usually would get contract jobs to work in companies in Silicon Valley. But the waves of H1B visa holders and now they want to extend Visas to their spouses has put me out of work because they usually give the jobs to them. I work cheaper than they do because I get hired through a contract agency that pays me between 13 – 15 per hour. The H1B people make over 20 per hour so they don’t work cheaper. I also am a harder worker because I never take days off, always on time and do my best to learn the job, meat deadlines. I am an american citizen, got my education in Business Administration in local colleges. So why are they brinking in more people from overseas? In the past, the local employment agencies had plenty of work. But as more and more people brought in from overseas, the jobs available has dwindled.

  10. The damage from H1B is so deep that America will never me the same again. These H1b go to almost free colleges in their country’s (India) tax money in India and then they come here take away jobs of citizens here. That’s what we call a Leach

  11. AmericanSTEMWorker

    BTW, all you have to do is scroll up to Pradeep’s comment about lazy and unskilled American workers to see the obvious racism that should not be tolerated.

  12. H1B is a scam

    Please send all H1B back. I am working with them from decades. They are no use. No skill just fake resumes. Once you suspend all H1B. Automatically you are adding 1 million jobs for Americans. IT is not rocket science. A 12th pass can do it with 3 months of traing.

  13. Sherry

    As the spouse of someone who has been in IT for 25 years I can tell you the H1B program has devastated American IT workers. Huge corporations are using H1B workers over Americans. He is 1 of 3 Americans out of HUNDREDS of Indians in his Dept. he hasn’t had a raise in over 7 years, we pay $1300 mo for health insurance with a $3000 deductible, no vacation or holiday pay and he is literally making what he did 10 years ago. It’s very sad and difficult to watch and live through. The contract companies cheat and the employer only uses contractors. It is a fortune 50 company with a multi billion dollar government contract, so yeah, real nice. They never use American interns or hire Americans, there’s actually no way to even apply for jobs because the contract company brings in the “resources” who of course are all from India. He is always so annoyed because the programmers have no idea what they are doing, the code has gone to crap, they don’t even understand basics much of the time, and on top of that, they are doing jobs that don’t even require any technical skills and could go to basically anyone with the ability to use a computer. It’s a scam and it’s sucks to step foot onto the campus and feel like you just went to a foreign company. There is NO diversity at all. Pathetic what we have allowed our country to become for the greed of corporations.

  14. RespectEveryone

    USA is a great country as others, talent doesn’t come with nationality.
    US Folks are very talented as other H1B Counter part, but this is the game of the US corporate world. H1B processing companies doing fraud from long time they don’t pay employees well and mistreat them, they just want more and more profit.
    Big Indian companies are worst, they bring underskill employee than make them work here quote very high, US companies giving business to them with low rate and don’t let US workforce work due to high demand.
    H4 EAD should have banned, company hire employee spouse even with $25/hr and make $70/hr from company that makes other job candidate hard to get job, this is worst move, also they even can get job in non-it field real killer for US folks.
    US hiring companies deduct hourly rate for foreigners, as soon they hear voice and determine candidate accent is different, they reduce rate 15%.
    US companies hire citizens only full time, diversity is less in some companies. But indian folks are racist to within their language state and other norms, they carve their path based on help me help you.
    So tech-racism exist everywhere, it is just making more profit, companies don’t care much about citizen and non-citizen they just want profit.

    Only thing we can do is learn, focus and respectful.

  15. This is so ridiculous, and all these comments here supporting this are very disappointing.

    I’m all for immigration reform, but this type of policy change needs a lot of input from industry and companies need a lot of time to revamp their personnel sourcing. Sounds hasty and likely to lead to lots of unintended economic problems.

    • Why is it hasty? This is one of Trump’s promises three years ago, he has delayed it three years. No more “industry input”. If the industry does not like it, they can move somewhere else. I am just waiting to see Google and Facebook gone to India.

  16. It’s truly UNBELIEVABLE that the H1b program is still in existence!

    45 million Americans are unemployed, foreclosures, and bankruptcies every where. Do we really need to import cheap labor?

  17. “Constraints on our human capital are likely to result in unintended consequences and may cause substantial economic uncertainty if we have to recalibrate our personnel based on country of birth,”

    Interesting that when the flood of under educated cheap labor was forced on us that the unintended consequences and substantial economic uncertainty weren’t issues.

  18. Woah guys. You guys seem to be speaking almost exclusively about hearsay and personal biases. No wonder it’s hard for y’all to find jobs. Look. This is not a subjective debate about your “opinions” but a straightforward decision based on numbers.

    First things first, let’s talk about skills. Some people here seem to have done a line before claiming that americans have the necessary skills to support the tech industry. False. The conventional notions of supply-demand fail when you talk about an industry that is perpetually always hiring. The big tech you speak of (Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon) have job postings all over the country right now. Do you have the skills? Go apply! If you’re an american reading this, I’m going to assume you are not going to. And that’s because you don’t have the skills to pass their process and aren’t going to invest the 1000s of hours it would take to have a reasonable chance. THIS is the reason tech companies need to look outside. So no, the recruiters in tech companies are not lying. And the reason is you, Joe.

    Next up, compensation. While I agree that this is the most widely criticized area of this visa category, I take it as a failure of the law to not have the right requirements calibrated according to local COL. But let me tell you this: Big Tech is not paying foreign workers less. An average engineer makes 300k out of college and is certainly not being hired as “cheap labor”. The search engine that led you to this page is led by a foreign CEO, a direct product of this visa. The laptop you’re typing your “opinions” on, the Tesla you drool at, .. I can keep going..

    It makes me sad to read forums like this. Stop scrolling Facebook, go read census reports and get some facts. Then, I’d be happy to have an actually educated discussion about the nuances of the visa category. Until then, just know you are a blind man feeling an elephant.

    • Reluctantly

      I’m going to agree with you that there are a number of US, IT workers who choose not to up level themselves because of laziness or outright refuse because they think their company should pay for it or may legitimately not have the time. I’m also going to guess some of these posts have some racial energy behind them.

      Here is where you’re just out of bounds.

      The average salary for a graduate with a degree in computer science from UC Berkeley (Top Tier School in this field) is $79,107, not $300,000. That is current salary from college factual and is consistent with other reporting sources.

      Next, Pew Research Center found 25% of the H1-B visas in 2011 were being used to fill positions requiring ONLY an associate degree. With that being consistent over the years, the US has let 20k workers per year fill low skilled positions from a program that is meant for highly skilled labor.

      You can cherry pick the best outcomes from the H1-B visa program but that is not the overall reality of the program.

      There are plenty of resources YOU should read regarding the H1-B visa program. It has been used to remove workers from filled positions for the purpose of cheaper labor. It has been used as a training program so Indian companies could become more competitive with US companies. It has been used as a pathway for individuals to steal intellectual secrets from the private and public sectors. All of these are facts.

      Another tidbit to consider is the companies using this program along with outsourcing earn most their income from within the US and Europe, 46% of Google’s income comes from the US alone and Apple earned 41% from the US, if you add in Europe it shoots up to past 65%. This program and outsourcing by far benefit the bottom lines of corporations and damage the US workforce in all the ways described and it isn’t just hearsay. The program needs a major revision and a minimum salary requirement is a great place to start. I would also like to see caps on the amount of outsourcing allowed by US based companies. I don’t think you should be able to export your workforce to countries that make up less than 8% of your revenue. The government and companies should be enticing worker development and attracting more students to STEM careers by forgiving loans. Who cares if the Fed or State pays 80k for tuition when they are going to collect income tax on 300k a year according to your numbers. It’ll never happen though, the companies that benefit from these practices also have their own political lobbying bodies to persuade congress to work in their favor.

      Full disclosure, I have finished two graduate programs and have been in IT for twenty one years and am not worried about being replaced by H1-B visa holder or outsourced.

      Finally, let go of the elephant’s tail because your condescending post implies you’re not mature enough to begin having conversations with the other “blind men” gathered around this subject.

    • Reluctantly

      I’m going to agree with you that there are a number of US, IT workers who choose not to up level themselves because of laziness or outright refuse because they think their company should pay for it or may legitimately not have the time. I’m also going to guess some of these posts have some racial energy behind them.

      Here is where you’re just out of bounds.

      The average salary for a graduate with a degree in computer science from UC Berkeley (Top Tier School in this field) is $79,107, not $300,000. That is current salary from college factual and is consistent with other reporting sources.

      Next, Pew Research Center found 25% of the H1-B visas in 2011 were being used to fill positions requiring ONLY an associate degree. With that being consistent over the years, the US has let 20k workers per year fill low skilled positions from a program that is meant for highly skilled labor.

      You can cherry pick the best outcomes from the H1-B visa program but that is not the overall reality of the program.

      There are plenty of resources YOU should read regarding the H1-B visa program. It has been used to remove workers from filled positions for the purpose of cheaper labor. It has been used as a training program so Indian companies could become more competitive with US companies. It has been used as a pathway for individuals to steal intellectual secrets from the private and public sectors. All of these are facts.

      Another tidbit to consider is the companies using this program along with outsourcing earn most their income from within the US and Europe, 46% of Google’s income comes from the US alone and Apple earned 41% from the US, if you add in Europe it shoots up to past 65%. This program and outsourcing by far benefit the bottom lines of corporations and damage the US workforce in all the ways described and it isn’t just hearsay. The program needs a major revision and a minimum salary requirement is a great place to start. I would also like to see caps on the amount of outsourcing allowed by US based companies. I don’t think you should be able to export your workforce to countries that make up less than 8% of your revenue. The government and companies should be enticing worker development and attracting more students to STEM careers by forgiving loans. Who cares if the Fed or State pays 80k for tuition when they are going to collect income tax on 300k a year according to your numbers. It’ll never happen though, the companies that benefit from these practices also have their own political lobbying bodies to persuade congress to work in their favor.

      Full disclosure, I have finished two graduate programs and have been in IT for twenty one years and am not worried about the next twenty either but I do worry for my friends who are in more tenuous situations.
      Finally, let go of the elephant’s tail because your condescending post implies you’re not mature enough to begin having conversations with the other “blind men” gathered around this subject.

    • reluctantly

      I keep getting censored for some reason and all I attempted to post was stats so I’m not going to waste more than a minute trying to reiterate my point.

      Pew Research found the 25% of H1-B visa recipients were used to fill low level IT jobs requiring only an associate degree. Have you looked at the course requirements for an associate degree, it’s not much. In regards to IT, 90 days of on the job training could easily be equivalent to what someone learns in two years at university in regards to IT. If the 25% trend has been consistent allowing 20k (out of the 85k possible) allowed in yearly, we have HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS H1-B visa holders who never should have been approved since this program’s inception.

      The average 4 year is what I would call adequately ready for the workforce. Grads from UC of Berkeley computer science program (top 1% in the country by the way, also where I went for my grad program) averages 79k a year upon graduation according to their stats.

      The program needs a revision and more scrutiny. The numbers of immigrants has suppressed wages for low and mid-level IT workers to the benefit of the companies that lobby Congress.

      Stop with the cherry picking, false facts and condescending comments.

      IMHO, I would prefer the program to be moth balled and we start investing heavily in minorities and women here in the US to diversify the STEM field.

  19. This issue is two-folds. Everyone is looking at one issue and totally ignoring the other. While I agree that the H1 Visa should be stopped and US Citizens should be given preference; but what about the millions of jobs being off-shored to India? Why the US Government or anyone do not talk about it? Right now the bigger issue is off-shoring (moving jobs to India).