PHOTO: It will be a long wait starting in April for foreign workers to come to the U.S. (Photo via Flickr/Craig Sunter)
If you were wondering why major companies – especially high-tech firms like Google, Facebook and Apple – stepped forward and publicly denounced President Trump’s initial travel ban, wonder no more.
Big companies concerned about a ‘brain drain’ of recruitment if citizens of foreign countries were not allowed to immigrate to the U.S. have even bigger concerns now.
The Trump Administration on Friday temporarily suspended expedited processing of H-1B visas, which are visas that U.S.-based companies can pay extra for to cut down on the wait time to bring in highly skilled foreign workers. In some cases, workers can get a visa in 15 days rather than up to several months.
The news comes before new reports that the President is expected to sign the new immigration travel ban on Monday, March 6.
READ MORE: Trump Expected To Sign New Travel Ban On Monday
According to Reuters News Agency, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said on Friday that starting April 3 it will suspend "premium processing" for up to six months. The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows U.S. companies to employ graduate-level workers in several specialized fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics.
USCIS said that H-1B applicants – 85,000 capped visas are available but nearly three times that submitted applications last year – can still seek the waiver but must meet certain factors, including the prospect of severe financial loss to a company or individual. With stock in Google, Facebook and Apple trading on the plus side, that option might not be applicable.