Does ‘Buy American and Hire American’ affect students?

Does ‘Buy American and Hire American’ affect students?

By signing the “Buy American and Hire American” order, Trump is following through on his ‘America first’-promise. The order could result in limitation of the amount of H-1B visas given out. This visa allows companies to temporarily employ foreign scientists, engineers and computer programmers and, according to Trump, replace American employees with cheaper, foreign employees.

The H-1B visa is currently only given out through a lottery-system, because of the relatively high number of applications. Trump wants this system to be replaced by a system that sorts jobs on their required skill-set and paid salary. He thinks that the H-1B visa “should include only the most skilled and highest-paid applicants and should never, ever be used to replace American workers.”

Presidential review

The exact consequences of the order are still unclear. The order itself does not change the H-1B policy, says Vox. It is simply a call for a presidential review of the H-1B visa. Though Trump has hinted at measures that will be taken, none of it has been set in stone yet. However, the hints that Trump has given are enough to worry many.


Likely to suffer are, for example, smaller tech-companies. Unlike larger companies like Google, smaller start-ups do not have the budget to provide higher salaries. If Trump’s revision of the H-1B visa includes selection based on salary, smaller companies will no longer be able to afford highly skilled, foreign employees.

International students

Though the policies around the H-1B visa might not change in the near future, the Order is already enough reason to deter international students from American Universities. Some American institutions are already facing a decline in international applications. The increasingly smaller chances for international students to find employment after graduating in America might well be a reason for them to try their luck elsewhere.


One country profiting from America’s policies is Canada. There, the amount of applications of international students has increased, according to Diverse Education. While America is making it increasingly harder for international students to succeed, Canada has been making it easier. For example, by changing its electronic immigration-selection system so that it is easier for international students to become citizen. So, if all else fails, Canada is always happy to have you.


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