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IMMIGRATION

Kenya ranked sixth in Africans working legally in US – report

78 Kenyan green card holders secured employment opportunities in the US last year.

In Summary

• In the last six year at least 556 Kenyans secured job in the US.

• On May 16, President Trump announced an immigration proposal to favor admissions based on merit rather than family ties, thus dramatically reshape the legal immigration system in the United States.

US Ambassador Kyle McCarter
US Ambassador Kyle McCarter
Image: FILE

At least 78 Kenyan green card holders secured employment opportunities in the US last year.

Data contained in the 'visa and green card report' now puts the average Visa and Green Card holders who have secured jobs legally in the US in the last six years at 556.

In the six-year stint, 2017 recorded the highest number of Kenyans absorbed into the American job market with 118 people, 111 were employed in 2016, 81 in 2015 and 80 in 2015.

 
 

This means the number of Kenyans securing jobs in the US is shrinking probably due to Trumps tough immigration laws.

The data ranks Kenya sixth among African countries whose citizens are legally working in the US.

South Africa accounts for the highest number of immigrants who secured employment at 468, Nigeria 371, Egypt 330, Egypt 330, Zimbabwe 216 and Ghana 108.

The data shows most of them work in technology, travel, law, engineering, nursing and medicine-related sectors.

The 2018 report further says Kenyans working in the US get an average annual salary of about Sh9.04 million.

In terms of pay,Egyptian immigrants earned the highest taking home an average salary of Sh11.7 million annually, followed by Nigeria with (Sh11.4 million), Ghana (Sh10.2 million), South Africa (Sh7.6 million) and Zimbabwe (Sh 5.1 million).

A survey by the Central Bank of Kenya indicated that Kenyans living and working abroad remitted a record Sh64.5 billion between January and March 2018.

 
 

A 2018 Bloomberg report puts Kenyan immigrants working in the US as the third-most industrious foreigners after Ghana and Bulgaria.

Kenyan workers scored 73.4 per cent.US Department of Labour count reveals about 16.7 per cent of America's employed workforce is made up of immigrants--about 25 million people.

The report shows Kenya is among the African countries with the highest number of immigrants studying and working in the US.

Internationally, India and China carry the bulk of immigrants working in the US.

Tougher immigration rules

On May 16, President Trump announced an immigration proposal that would favor admissions based on merit rather than family ties, thus dramatically reshape the legal immigration system in the United States.

The proposal would judge immigrants with a points-based system that would favor high-skilled workers -- accounting for age, English proficiency, education and whether the applicant has a well-paying job offer.

Currently, only about 12 per cent of immigrants are admitted based on employment and skills, while 66 per cent are admitted based on family connections inside the U.S.

Administration officials estimate that those numbers would flip to 57 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively, under the new plan.

The average yearly wage of legal immigrants is approximately Sh4.3 million.

Administration officials said that immigrants admitted based on education and skills would have an average income of Sh12.6 million, and they would expect the average yearly wage of all immigrants to rise to roughly Sh 9.6 million.