Home Economy H-1B visa applications drop ahead of Trump move to limit program

H-1B visa applications drop ahead of Trump move to limit program

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         H-1B visa applications drop ahead of Trump move to limit program

Even as fewer applicants line up for high-skilled immigration visas, President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday directing a review of the program.

Trump is traveling to the Kenosha, Wisc., headquarters of tool-maker Snap-on Inc.

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  to sign the order and tout what he calls his “buy American, hire American” agenda.

The order will set up a 220-day review process of H-1B visas and ask federal agencies to minimize the use of waivers to Buy American policies, among other things.

Read: Trump to sign ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive orders.

Trump’s order seeks to ensure the visas go only to the most skilled workers. An administration official told reporters on Monday that 80% of the immigrants who enter the U.S. on H-1B visas are paid less than the median wage in their fields. “Workers are often brought in well below market rates to replace American workers,” the official said.

Government data released this week, meanwhile, shows that the number of applicants for H-1B visas has fallen. The government admits 85,000 immigrants under the visa program each year. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it received 199,000 applications for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1. That was down from the 236,000 it received the year before, a drop some attribute to Trump, who promised in a debate during the presidential campaign to end the program.

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