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After labeling it ‘very bad,’ Trump’s ‘Truth Social’ seeks H-1B visa

The social media company founded by former President Donald Trump, Trump Media & Technology Group, applied for an H-1B visa despite Trump’s previous criticism of the program. This application was filed for a worker at a $65,000 salary, the lowest wage category allowed. The company says it did not hire the worker. Trump has previously proposed a protectionist agenda encouraging companies to “hire American,” but his own company and his son-in-law’s investment firm applied for the H-1B visa. The company filed the visa application under prior management, but terminated the process when current management learned of it.

An H-1B visa petition can cost companies about $5,000 per employee, and companies can withdraw petitions after approval. Tech companies commonly use the H-1B program to hire employees. Trump used the visas before becoming president, but his companies had not petitioned for H-1B visas until Truth Social was created. Trump’s companies appeared to have stopped using H-1B visas, but an application was filed by Trump Media & Technology Group for an employee earning $65,000. The employee who was identified as the employer filed a whistleblower complaint in August 2022 alleging securities violations by the company.

Trump has been critical of the H-1B program in the past, calling it “very bad” and “unfair” to U.S. workers. He has proposed reforms to protect American workers and ensure that H-1B visas go to the highest-paid or most-skilled applicants. Critics of the program argue that companies often offer lower salaries to foreign workers. Trump’s allies preparing for a potential transition to power suggest transforming the H-1B program to bring in the “best and brightest” at higher wages. Companies in professional fields account for the majority of H-1B visas granted.

The H-1B program is seen as beneficial for small companies, as winning the lottery increases their chances of survival. Companies must provide foreign workers the same benefits and higher pay compared to other workers with similar experience. Much of the criticism regarding the H-1B program is about lower wages offered to foreign workers. Kushner’s investment firm applied to hire a foreign employee at a $200,000 salary, falling under the highest wage level of H-1B visas. The company was approved for the visa, and Kushner has been pursuing his own business interests.


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