The Trump administration is proposing a hike in the H-1B visa application fee to fund the expansion of an apprentice program which trains American youth in technology-related activities, reports Times of India.
The fee hike is expected to affect a large number of Indian companies, which account for a large number of the applications. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allow American companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
United States Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta justified the hike while testifying before a Congressional committee saying, "In FY (financial year) 2020, the Department's budget includes $160 million to continue our expansion of apprenticeship programmed, along with a proposal to increase H-1B fees revenues to fund additional apprenticeship activities,"
According to the report, Trump administration has continued to double down on immigration requests especially the H-1B programme, last year the immigration officials denied nearly one of out of every four applications for new visas for skilled foreign workers.
The Department of Labour's apprentice programme had been launched on a grant funding of $150 million which will introduce new or expand existing apprenticeship programmes to in-demand industry sectors which are most often filed by the H-1B visas applicants.
The details of the application fee hike and to which category it will be forced on are yet to be released.
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