US President Donald Trump planning to sign an order which changes visa programme for skilled workers

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Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order that seeks to make changes to a visa programme that brings in high-skilled workers.

The time-limited H-1B visas for skilled workers, which are sought by Silicon Valley heavyweights, are meant for scientists, engineers and computer programmers, and are an important gateway for many attracted by tech hubs across the country.

But the White House said the programme is undercutting American workers by bringing in cheaper labour and that some tech companies are using it to hire large numbers of workers and drive down wages.

Trump is going to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday where he plans to sign an order dubbed “Buy American, Hire American,” ordering the Labour, Justice and Homeland Security Departments to propose reforms to the visa programme to prevent immigration fraud and abuse.

Those departments would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the “most-skilled or highest-paid applicants”, anonymous officials told the Associated Press news agency.

Administration officials said that the order seeks to strengthen requirements that American-made products be used in certain federal construction projects, as well as in various federal transportation grant-funded projects.