If you wanted to reduce the number of H-1B visa applications, and devote more resources to apprenticeships for U.S. workers, how would you do it?
All you'd have to do is raise the H-1B application fee. Which is exactly what President Trump's administration has proposed:
Trump Administration to Propose Hike in H-1B Visa Filing Fee: Labor Secretary – BusinessToday.in
Alexander Acosta, current Secretary of Labor, announced a hike to the H-1B visa filing fee before Congress on May 2. The hike will go into effect in fiscal year 2020 (starts October 2019).
At this time he has not said which categories of applicants would see a fee hike. One very likely category will be, as the above article speculates, the Indian outsourcing companies that try to snap up H-1B visas every year…flooding America with foreign workers.
The budget also includes something novel—a private-sector match requirement for apprenticeships. Acosta estimates this will add over $50 million to the $150 million allocated by the Department of Labor.
Apprenticeships, as we noted in 2017, provide an excellent opportunity for building job-relevant skills within many industries, including IT. Using the revenue from a hiked H-1B application fee creates a win-win scenario for American businesses AND American workers.
The fee hike may even deter Indian outsourcing companies from grabbing more H-1Bs—an added bonus. No matter which way the results go, they're a positive for America’s IT workforce.
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