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Tech Startups Say New Pay Rules for H-1B Visas Are Unaffordable

Advanced Silicon Group worker at desk

Roughly nine out of 10 applicants for open positions at Advanced Silicon Group aren't U.S. citizens.

Credit: The Wall Street Journal

New rules from the Trump administration restricting skilled foreign workers are unnerving U.S. startup hubs, as founders and investors say the limitations will hamstring their ability to recruit top-tier talent to grow their businesses.

The changes to the H-1B visa program announced in October will make qualifying for the work visas much tougher and compel employers to pay foreign workers drastically higher wages.

Those rules hit especially hard for technology startups, which usually pay employees a lower salary but compensate with stock options. Many salaries under the new rules start at $208,000, even for inexperienced workers.

"It's already expensive, it was already a high bar, and we are making it prohibitive," Kate Mitchell, co-founder of venture-capital firm Scale, said of the H1-B program.

From The Wall Street Journal
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