According to a Reuters analysis of US Labour Department filings more than 15 percent of Facebook’s US employees in 2016 used a temporary work visa making it a an H-1B “dependent” company.
That is much worse than Alphabet, Google, Apple, Amazon or Microsoft. This could cause major problems for Facebook if Trump or Congress decide to make the H-1B program more restrictive, as the president and some Republican lawmakers have threatened to do.
Both Trump and Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions have opposed the program in its current form. They have also indicated that they are open to reforming it to “ensure the beneficiaries of the programme are the best and the brightest,” according to a draft executive order seen by Reuters.
The Trump administration has not proposed any new rules that would target companies with the H-1B “dependent” classification. But the fact that Facebook alone among major tech companies falls into that category suggests it is the most exposed in the industry to any changes in H-1B visa policy.
Neither the White House nor Facebook are saying anything. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday that Trump would target H-1B visas as part of a larger immigration reform effort through executive orders and Congressional action, but gave no details.
Facebook listed itself as a dependent company in its applications for H-1B visas with the Labor Department last year.
Before he took office as president, Trump discussed changes to the H-1B visa program with top technology executives, including Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.