These stocks are vulnerable to stricter U.S. immigration and work visa rules

These otherwise fundamentally strong companies rely heavily on foreign talent and may be hurt by Trump's executive orders.

Vikram Barhat 8 February, 2017 | 6:00PM

These are uncertain times for U.S.-based companies that recruit and rely on talent from overseas. U.S. President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigration and the proposed rules around the H-1B visa, which allows American companies to hire and sponsor highly skilled workers from overseas, could have a material impact on business operations and productivity. Delivering on his campaign promises, Trump has proposed legislation mandating that the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders be increased from US$60,000 to US$130,000.

It is widely acknowledged that new rules, aimed at restricting the inflow of foreign workers, coupled with the temporary immigration ban imposed on select countries, will impede movement of executives or other personnel required to travel to and from the U.S., which could have meaningful implications for smooth operation of businesses and their ability to compete in international marketplace. So much so that big U.S. businesses wasted no time in joining hands to oppose Trump's travel ban.

Among the most affected are four companies that, according to the 2017 H-1B Report, take a large portion of the annual quota of 65,000 visas to hire foreigners with exceptional skills who help their businesses grow. These American titans are going to be hurt by Trump directives, which reduce the talent pool size and increase payroll costs that could pressure both revenue and operating margins.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Alphabet Inc Class C2,254.79 USD-1.36 Inc3,379.39 USD0.21
Facebook Inc A311.54 USD-0.29
Microsoft Corp255.91 USD0.02

About Author

Vikram Barhat

Vikram Barhat  Vikram Barhat is a Toronto-based financial writer specializing in investing, stock markets, personal finance and other areas of the financial services industry. He also writes for CNBC, BBC, The Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star.

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