Indian workers receive more than 70% of all H-1B visas, which are initially valid for three years.
The summary of the executive order signed by Donald Trump gives the outline: "The executive order directs federal agencies to crack down on fraud and abuse in the H-1B visa program, which is heavily used by technology companies".
The time-limited H-1B visas for skilled workers, which are sought by technology giants, are meant for scientists, engineers and computer programmers.
"With the U.S. government firm on restricting foreigners in regular jobs, there will be serious review of the H1-B visa holders when they apply for extensions", he told HT in Hyderabad, considered the country's I-T hub. Critics of the program claim staffing companies are undercutting American wages by using the visas to recruit foreign labor and then contracting those workers to large companies. Trump ordered federal agencies to look at tightening a temporary visa programme used to bring high-skilled foreign workers to the United States. They would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the 'most-skilled or highest-paid applicants'. Trump also seeks changes in government procurement that would boost purchases of American products in federal contracts, with one aim being to help US steelmakers. The commerce secretary is to review how to close loopholes in existing rules and provide recommendations to the president within 220 days.
"If it turns out America is a net loser because of those free-trade agreement waivers, which apply to nearly 60 countries, these waivers may be promptly renegotiated or revoked", a second official said. They said it's important President Trump keeps the focus on mending the program- not getting rid of it.
"In particular, they say there's a shortage of science, technology, engineering and math talent in the USA - especially with higher degrees like Masters and PhD.s".
"NAFTA has been very, very bad for our country. And we should end it".
AILA president William A Stock said that H-1B workers helped transform state and local economies across the nation, adding that the immigration system was critical to all geographic and industry sectors, not just Silicon Valley.
The government uses a lottery system to grant 65,000 visas every year and randomly distributes an additional 20,000 to graduate students.
But the White House hopes that signing the decree will build momentum before a possible legislative reform.
The H-1B visa is a good thing in many cases. The tech industry has argued that the H-1B program is needed because it encourages students to stay in the US after getting degrees in high-tech specialties and because companies can't always find enough American workers with the skills they need.