WASHINGTON — The federal government on Monday began accepting visa applications for a fresh round of high-skilled foreign workers, without the wholesale changes President Donald Trump promised in his campaign. His administration did, though, announce one shift that could put pressure on outsourcing companies that typically win a large share of the coveted visas.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service said it would direct more inspectors in the H-1B program to the controversial outsourcing companies, many of them based in India. Those firms have drawn scrutiny because their U.S. subsidiaries sometimes import employees to do work once performed by Americans.
The companies say they are adhering to the program’s rules and only hire foreigners because they can’t find Americans for the jobs, but they are under substantial political scrutiny.
Demand for the program badly outstrips the supply so, as in past years, the government plans a lottery to decide which companies get them. Last year, the government received more than 236,000 applications for the 85,000 visas, of which 20,000 are reserved for people with advanced degrees.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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