Trump’s immigration plan: Which industries need high-skilled workers?

President Trump detailed his plans for immigration reform on Thursday, aiming to alter the composition of who is admitted into the U.S.

While the proposal is expected to keep overall levels of legal immigration the same, it would increase the number of 'skills-based' visas offered, while reducing family members’ immigration. Currently, about 12 percent of immigrants are admitted based on skills, while 66 percent are admitted based on family ties – percentages of which Trump is looking to shift to 57 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

It would eliminate the visa lottery system, which allows 50,000 visas to be given to immigrants in countries with low immigration rates, and pathways for family members to immigrate.

Among the criteria that are expected to be prioritized for applicants are age, education, high-paying job offers and the ability to speak English.

While nearly half of Fortune 500 companies were founded by first or second-generation immigrants, according to Forbes, here’s a look at some of the U.S. industries that are in need of skilled workers:


According to research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Management Review, one out of every 3.5 inventors in the U.S. is an immigrant.

A majority of the employers with the highest initial H-1B approval ratings – visas issued to graduate-level workers in specialty occupations, like IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, science and medicine – last year were technology companies, according to data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

They included: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Intel, IBM, Facebook, Apple and Cisco.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 293.47 +1.56 +0.53%
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 143.18 -0.37 -0.26%
GOOGL ALPHABET INC. 122.08 +0.40 +0.33%
INTC INTEL CORP. 36.34 +0.23 +0.64%
FB n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
AAPL APPLE INC. 173.19 +1.09 +0.63%
CSCO CISCO SYSTEMS INC. 46.59 -0.02 -0.04%

H1-B visas are the most prominent category for employment-based immigration to the U.S.


Like technology, there is a need for skilled engineers in the U.S.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., told Fox News last week that the U.S. needs more engineers and computer scientists, as opposed to unskilled workers.

There is expected to be nearly 140,000 new jobs in this space created between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These positions, overall, offer an annual median wage of more than $90,000.


In 2018, about 4,000 international medical graduates were accepted to U.S. residency programs, according to Forbes.

About 25 percent of international medical graduates training in the U.S. are issued H-1B visas, according to a number of medical groups.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is combating a physician shortage. According to the Association of American Medical College, the shortage could climb to 122,000 by 2032.



A number of Wall Street firms were among the companies with the highest H-1B visa approvals. They included JPMorgan, Ernst& Young and Deloitte.