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Sunday 23 July 2017

How Trump's latest visa crackdown will impact Irish workers looking to move stateside

Donald Trump. Photo: AP
Donald Trump. Photo: AP
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Donald Trump has pledged to overhaul a visa programme for skilled workers as part of his America First initiative, but what does it mean for Irish graduates looking to move stateside? Here is everything you need to know.

What visa is he talking about?

The HB-1 visa is a visa which allows skilled workers from overseas work with tech firms in the US.

It has attracted criticism because it is seen as a visa which allows firms who abuse it to replace American workers for lower wages.

Outsourcing firms have been singled out as some of the worst offenders when it comes to this practise.

What will happen now?

On Monday the US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency laid out new measures to combat "fraud and abuse" in the programme. The Justice Department also warned firms not to discriminate against US workers.

How will it affect me?

Rory Kavanagh, editor of gradireland, said that the changes will not make a huge impact on the number of skilled workers moving to the US, as the numbers of people using the visa in recent years is relatively low.

“There is a lot of alternatives out there for graduates. There is a constant demand for specialist knowledge with big companies, many of whom have offices here,” he said.

What do I do now?

Mr Kavanagh said the main thing is for people not to panic and to follow the golden rules when applying for all visas abroad.

“If you are applying to companies in the States  apply with all of your paperwork in order, don't leave anything that can be picked up at a later stage – especially now as it’s getting a lot tighter,” he said.

“Seek the advice of solicitors who specialise in this area and get in touch with embassies in the US, especially in LA where a lot of tech jobs are concentrated.”

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