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Trump administration to set restrictions on H-1B visas

The Trump administration announced new rules Tuesday that will force companies to increase pay for H-1B visa holders and shrink the range of jobs eligible for the skilled foreign worker visa program.

The announcement comes on the heels of an Oct. 1 decision by a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to temporarily block an earlier White House ban on all new visas for foreign workers through December.

Many tech companies rely on H-1B visas to hire skilled foreign workers and protested the earlier ban.

The new rules are intended to make it more difficult for skilled foreign workers to get visas and "protect American workers," according to statements from administration officials and the Department of Homeland Security.

The rule from the Department of Labor will require that companies pay H-1B visa workers at similar rates to U.S. workers.

The Department of Homeland security rules will shrink the range of "specialty occupations" for which companies can hire H-1B workers and set a one-year limit for placements at third-party worksites, amid other changes.

"Changing the requirements around H-1B and other work visas will only hurt American companies that depend on high-skilled workers who fill critical positions while we work to grow our domestic STEM pipeline," wrote TechNet President and CEO Linda Moore in a statement. "This new rule only harms America's ability to recover from the pandemic during this critical time and has zero impact on increasing domestic American jobs."

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