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Photo: AP

The Trump administration is making it more difficult for employment-based visa holders to extend their status in the U.S. — another blow to companies (particularly large technology firms) that rely on H-1B visas to hire high-skilled workers from other countries.

The big picture: With new policy guidance, foreign workers applying for visa extensions will face more scrutiny.

The administration is making it clear that federal immigration officers can and should ask more questions to make sure only the best applicants are deemed eligible for work visas. It's part of the administration's broader efforts to crack down on H-1B and other company-sponsored visas that, it believes, are prone to abuse and take good-paying jobs away from Americans.

The details: Currently, immigration officers reviewing visa extension applications defer to prior eligibility decisions for that visa — which means if a person was found to be eligible for an initial work visa, they would usually be considered eligible for an extension of that visa. But in a memo released late Monday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rescinded that policy and instructed its officers to apply the same level of scrutiny to both initial petitions and extension requests, consistent with policies "that protect the interests of U.S. workers."

Editor's Note: Sign up for Axios newsletters to get our smart brevity delivered to your inbox every morning.

Go deeper

America's Chinese communities struggle with online disinformation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Disinformation has proliferated on Chinese-language websites and platforms like WeChat that are popular with Chinese speakers in the U.S., just as it has on English-language websites.

Why it matters: There are fewer fact-checking sites and other sources of reliable information in Chinese, making it even harder to push back against disinformation.

Pennsylvania certifies Biden's victory

Photo: Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pennsylvania officials on Tuesday certified the state's presidential election results, making President-elect Joe Biden's win in the key battleground official.

Why it matters: The move deals another blow to President Trump's failed efforts to block certification in key swing states that he lost to Biden. It also comes one day after officials voted to certify Biden's victory in Michigan.