Trump’s Visa Target: Who Comes From Where?

Trump’s Visa Target: Who Comes From Where?

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Editor’s Remarks:
President Trump has signed an executive order for a review of the US’ programme for bringing in skilled foreign workers – namely, the H-1B visa. The order was short on detail, and does not change any current rules. But White House aides said it aims to overhaul the current lottery-based system with a merit-based programme that would restrict the visas to highly skilled workers. 85,000 new H-1B visas are handed out every year, and another 100,000 are extended or reissued, but where do all these new arrivals hail from? As today’s chart shows, the vast majority of last year’s recipients were originally from India, with a significant number also from China. 82% of all H-1B recipients last year came from those two countries alone. Trump’s campaign message was that employers have been exploiting the current programme to avoid dipping into a relatively expensive homegrown pool of labour. Many of these already-landed workers will be relieved to hear of the limited scope of the order, but the next few years will tell whether their friends and relatives back home will have as much luck if the proverbial drawbridge ends up pulled up a notch.

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