h-1b visas

Federal officials have closed a one-time extension for companies that needed more temporary visa workers – landscapers and other non-farm laborers.

Indiana brings in hundreds of these workers a year and makes up about one percent of the program nationwide.

Typically, nearly half of the nation’s H-2B workers are landscapers, and that proportion is even higher in Indiana.

For fiscal year 2017, more than 70 percent of the state’s 1,550 H-2B visa workers were brought on in landscaping jobs.

President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration does not apply to people on visas – but there’s another change to the visa program for skilled immigrant workers that could put a strain on foreign hires at Indiana universities.

The temporary change to the H-1B visa program would halt what’s called “premium processing,” which speeds up visa applications for foreign, highly skilled workers.

In Indiana, Vice President Pence's hometown has one of the top concentrations of skilled immigrant workers in the country. In Columbus, Ind., manufacturers and residents depend on open borders to move both products and people, but continued uncertainty over the Trump administration's immigration policies is leading to some anxiety there.

President Donald Trump’s immigration order barring refugees, as well as immigrants and visa-holders from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan, impacts businesses with many foreign workers – including Cummins Engine.

The Columbus-based manufacturer has many employees born in other countries, and more than half of its workers are based overseas.