World

Donald Trump likely to issue executive order to limit H1-B visas

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is preparing to issue executive orders on H1-B visas - primarily used by technology companies like Infosys, Wipro and TCS to send Indian professionals to the US - his spokesperson Sean Spicer indicated yesterday.

Spicer told reporters that H-1Bs and other visas are "a part of larger immigration reform effort that Trump will continue to talk about through executive order and through working with Congress."
"There is an overall need to look at all these programs and you will see that both through executive action and through comprehensive legislative measures a way to address immigration as a whole and the visa programmes," he said.

Before assuming office in January, Trump said that one of his first tasks would be to issue an executive order for the Labour Department to investigate visa abuses that he asserted undercut the wages of American workers.+

Along with H1-B, Spicer mentioned spousal and others as categories of visas that Trump may act on.
H1-B visas are issued to qualified professionals. A related visa is the L1, which is given to employees of a company who are transferred to the US. Both of them are used extensively by Indian companies.
In 2015, President Barack Obama's administration permitted spouses of H1-B visa-holders to get permission to work.

Spicer said that these visas were part of the "larger immigration reform effort".
"You've already seen a lot of action on immigration," he added, referring to the temporary ban on visitors from nine countries from where this and previous administrations have perceived terrorist threats.
According to ComputerWorld magazine, nearly 86 per cent of H1-B visas for computer-related jobs and 46.5 per cent for engineering positions were given to Indians.

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