The United States is looking to make the H1b visa system more flexible.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration wants to make visa holders from the European Union, Japan, and Mexico ineligible for temporary visas and work permits for up to five years.
That’s a big deal for those industries.
But the WSJ doesn’t say how many people are affected, and why the move is being made.
It does note that H1Bs would still be allowed to apply for visas for the next six months, after which the government would decide if they should be allowed permanent residency.
It’s a move that has some experts worried.
“If you think about the effect it’s going to have on the H-1B program, it’s not good,” said John Sullivan, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do for the American economy.”
Sullivan told the WSJD that “it’s a mistake to make a program about the supply of labor and skilled workers,” a key metric for the H3B program.
“The current system is so dependent on that supply that it doesn’t do anything to address the labor shortages,” he said.
The WSJD article goes on to say that the H2B visa would also be changed.
Instead of requiring employers to hire workers from outside the U.S., employers would only need to hire Americans with H2Bs.
The article says that the changes would “allow H1-b holders to stay in the United States and work for companies that pay H1 visa holders.”
The WSJ article also notes that the proposed changes “could potentially cost the U,S.
economy $3.4 trillion over the next decade, according to an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.”
That would be about $10 billion less than what the WSJs proposed the H5B program would cost.
Sullivan added that the WSJP’s numbers don’t include the H4B program and that “the H5-B program could provide a cheaper alternative to H1.”
Sullivan noted that the US economy “isn’t the only one that depends on immigration to compete with China and other nations for labor.”
“It’s not going to be the only factor that has an impact on economic growth,” he added.
“But it is an issue.”
The Journal article also points out that “foreign direct investment [FDI] in the U-20 and U-25 countries is expected to grow at a slower pace than the U.-20 market.”
But that could change if the Trump immigration plan is enacted, as it’s been predicted.
Foreign direct investment has increased substantially in recent years, according a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.