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Tech wash: Donald Trump's unclear reform of H-1B visas

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Every year tens of thousands of foreign workers arrive in the US on what are known as H-1B visas These are visas for people with particular specialist skills to come for just a few years

And they're particularly heavily used by the technology industry to recruit for jobs such as software developers Some people think that these companies are abusing the system That they're really using it to hire cheap foreign labour at the expense of American workers They say, however, that American workers simply don't have the skills they need By far the biggest recipient country of H-1B visas is India

So it's no surprise that when the Indian IT industry was here in Washington a couple of weeks ago, this issue was top of their agenda They argue that Indian companies are being unfairly discriminated against when it comes to approvals as opposed to their American rivals They say it is much easier for Microsoft, for example, to hire an Indian worker in the US than it is for a company such as Infosys However, while their message is clear, they're finding it much harder to get a straight answer out of the White House about what the president wants In his two years in office, Donald Trump has made it more complex in a number of ways to get an H-1B visa under his policy of hire American, buy American

But then earlier this year he unexpectedly tweeted that he wanted to enact reforms that would simplify the system, and even give H-1B holders a path to citizenship Those reforms are still to see the light of day, and most people in the industry that I talk to still don't know whether the president really wants to make this system more or less attractive

Source: Youtube

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