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. U.S. technology startup founders and investors say the limitations will hamstring their ability to recruit top-tier talent to grow their businesses.
1. The rules hit especially hard for tech startups.
Founders and rank-and-file workers at these companies are often immigrants. Nearly a third of all venture-backed startups are founded by immigrants, according to a 2016 report from the National Bureau of Economic Research. More than half of startups valued at $1 billion or more have at least one immigrant founder, according to a 2018 paper from the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonpartisan think tank.
2. Startups say the pay rules are unaffordable.
Tech startups usually pay employees a lower salary but compensate with stock options. The wages mandated