Spouses of H1-B visa holders might not be able to work in the United States
The Trump administration plans to bring an end to the rule of allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the country. The development has emerged after a top federal agency official has told lawmakers that the administration was planning on proposing it. The move if implemented can have a devastating impact on Indians working in the country. It needs to be mentioned that currently more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders have work permits.
The H-4 visa is issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders under a special order that was issued during the Obama-era rule in the year 2015. After the rule was passed, Indian-Americans has been the major beneficiary which can be gauged from the fact that as of early 2017, 93 percent of the total H-4 visa holders were women from India.
Francis Cissna, the director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated that a formal communication on the matter is expected to be made later this summer. He added that the reversal of the 2015 rule will ensure in protecting the interests of United States workers.
H1B visa saga: Indian companies in US start employing locals
As the number of applicants for the H1B visa has seen an unprecedented drop, firms the in US have also gone the other way and have began hiring locals in the US.
In fact, a number of well-known Indian IT firms have gone on to take this route. They have been trying to bring down foreign employment and increase the number of local people as far as hiring is concerned. In fact, it has also been found that the number of H1B applications for the 2019 cycle has seen what we can call a ‘historic fall’.
The H1B visa is a type of visa that permits companies across the United States of America to hire foreign workers for certain skilled jobs. Over the years, the number of Indians that have been taking up such jobs have seen an unprecedented high.
Indian companies that have branches in the US have also been actively increasing the number of local hirings as there been a change in the political scenario as far as visa policies are concerned. This has been the trend since the beginning of 2017 as far as H1B visas are concerned.
Trump’s Administration Insisted To Keep H-1B Spouses’ Work Permits
According to the 2015 regulation issued by Barrack Obama’s administration, the H-1B spouses are permitted to work or be employed while the actual holder seeks a permanent residence in the U.S.
However, after the H-1B visa policies have been tightened, 6 democratic lawmakers have insisted the Trump’s administration to retain the existing Obama’s rule. They have sent a letter urging to “reconsider” the new plan, as it would create significant financial hardship and uncertainty for most highly-qualified professionals.
U.S. tightens the rules on H-1B visa, Indians will be affected
The Trump’s administration has made it even harder for individuals and companies to acquire H-1B visas. Moreover, even if a person gets one, it might not be for 3 years, as it has always been. In such circumstances, both Indian IT organizations and Indians will have an impact because they are the majority users of this work visa. Apart from these, short durations might also make the transition to a Green Card from an H-1B visa almost impossible.
According to the policy memorandum announced on 22 February by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, its officers have all the rights to seek comprehensive documentation as well as necessary proof from companies to make sure that an H-1B beneficiary truly has some important tasks in a specific occupation.
Earlier extension of H-1B visa was easy and the process involved asking only a few questions to the beneficiary. But at present, an H-1B issuance has not only limited it to 3 years but also the administration has made the extension process more difficult, convincing Indian IT companies to tell their H-1B employees to return much earlier than expected. The new regulations also imply that an applicant might not also get his/her full three years.
H-1B Parents Talk About Indian Children Being Scared Of “Ageing Out”
According to the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services), “ageing out” is described as a situation when anyone who turns 21 before receiving his/her Green Card (or permanent residence) is not considered as a child for the purpose of immigration.
For 12 or 13-year old kids of H-1B Visa holder parents who are waiting for their Green Cards, the concept of “ageing out” is not simple to comprehend but to know that it will surely affect them.
With so many consequences, the Indian H-1B holders have voluntarily involved themselves into the enduring immigration debate held at Washington DC. The predicament of 700,000 undocumented immigrants that were brought to the U.S. as children now face deportation because the President Donald Trump rescinded the Obama-era protection.
Newly appointed US envoy to India addresses H-1B Visa concerns
Trump's administration plans to change the H-1B Visa policy which could lead to a mass deportation of Indian H-1B Visa holders has created an unsettling impact on the IT industry of India. The fear of being forced to leave the US while applying for a visa extension or Green Card application has alarmed the lawmakers of both the US and India. The newly appointed US envoy to India, Kenneth Juster recently addressed the issued by stating that the upcoming H-1B Visa changes are to reform the immigration policies instead of directing a mass deportation. The US lawmakers have already acknowledged the growth of US economy which is driven by the immigrant workers under the H-1B Visa program. The proposed law suggests changes to the H-1B Visa policies pertaining to application and extension, however, Kenneth Juster reassured the Indian H-1B Visa holders as they won't be impacted due to the changes to immigrant work policies.
H1B Visa renewal is not as easy as it used to be
Trump administration has made it difficult for the H1B Visa holders to carry out the renewal process. Earlier, the H1B Visa holders did not have the burden of producing relevant documents during the visa renewal process, however, the new rules direct H1B Visa holders to provide sufficient proofs to prove that he/she is qualified to renew the existing H1B Visa.
7 November 2017
Are you applying for H-1B visa? Be advised about new rules
The government of the United States is allotting time-consuming, expensive challenges to skilled foreign applicants, thereby enabling them to work in the United States. H-IB visas are widely utilised by outsourcing companies and, as a result, they are controversial. H-IB visas are also utilised across the education, the American tech and other industry verticals. Moreover, top-listed Indian IT corporations have questioned over such investigations according to the recent information.
Nasscom’s lobbying costs rise with regards to H1B and L1 visa
After the US President Donald Trump signed the ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order, it has become increasingly difficult for the US-based Indian IT companies to recruit skilled IT professionals from overseas. Earlier, India was lobbying for a reduction in visa filing fees under the Obama administration, now Nasscom is lobbying for leniency with regards to H1B and L2 visa. According to the recent lobbying disclosure reports, Nasscom has paid $150,000 to 2 lobbyists in the first quarter of 2017, which is higher than 3 quarters combined in 2016. The 2 lobbyists are the Lande Group and Wexler & Walker.
The Lande Group has been petitioning US visa processing, green cards, highly skilled immigration, tax reform, and border adjustment tax. Wexler & Walker took up immigration and the US H1B and L1 visa lobbying alongside the House of Congress and federal agencies. R Chandrashekhar, the president of Nasscom argued in a delegation with the officials of the Trump administration that the Indian IT firms contributes heavily to the US economy while creating numerous jobs.
More students staying back in US with temporary visa
Reports reveal that more and more students who go to the US for education end up staying back and choosing to work there with temporary visas.This trend is particularly high among Indian and Chinese students.
Skilled workers are staying back and getting work with the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program that permits those who have passed out of college to work in the country on a temporary basis. As many as 7 lakh OPT requests were approved from 2008 to 2014 as per data obtained from the Pew Research Center from US Immigration papers. These trends and other data indicate that this will increase over a period of time.
Those with a F-1 visa will be eligible to apply for OPT, post which the student is entitled to stay in the country for at least a period of 1 year. As an exception to this rule,, those with a major in the stem field are allowed to stay for 36 months.
There is no upper limit on how many people can apply for this visa. This visa provision came into force in 1947 and it can only be changed by a US president.