Donald Trump forbids the hiring of H1-B visa holders for federal contracts

In a major blow to Indian IT professionals looking to the U.S. job market, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday to bar federal agencies from recruiting or subcontracting foreign workers-mainly those on H-1B visas. The move comes more than a month after Trump’s administration halted H-1B visas in June 23 along with other forms of international work visas until the end of 2020 to shield American jobs in a critical election year. The new limits came into effect on 24 June.

The H1B visa, most common among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that enables U.S. businesses to recruit foreign employees in specialized occupations that need theoretical or technological skills. Technology companies rely on it to recruit tens of thousands of employees each year from countries such as India and China.

The executive order requires all federal agencies to complete an internal audit and assess whether they are in compliance with the requirement that only US citizens and nationals are appointed to the competitive service. As a result, the Department of Labour will also finalise guidlines to prevent H-1B employers from moving H-1B workers to other employers’ job sites to displace Americans workers.