US Administration Set to Overhaul H1B Work-Visa Programme

The Trump Administration has decided to tackle the immigration policies of the US immediately after banning refugees and travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. This time the strike will be closer home as the Trump Administration has drafted an executive order aimed at overhauling the work-visa programme. The US administration said on Monday, January 30, 2017, it had drafted an executive order to overhaul the H1B work-visa programme that software services firms based in India use to send skilled workers to the US. Check for H1B Visa Evaluation in UT Evaluators

While H1B visas are primarily to hire highly skilled workers in areas that lack top talent, there has been criticism from US politicians who feel that a majority of the visas are awarded to outsourcing firms from India who misuse the work-visa programme to bring low-level IT workers into the US.The executive order aims towards designing the immigration policies which will serve, first and foremost, the US national interest.

US visa reforms may force Indian IT companies, including Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd, which depend on H1B visas for recruitments, to make fundamental changes to their business strategies. They may have to shift work offshore or other near-shore centres or subcontract to US firms.India’s software services industry, already facing pressures on profitability and revenue, will have to work towards hiring more American workers and raising salaries they pay to employees working on client sites in the US. This will erode operating margins by as much as 3 percentage points as per analysts.

What is H1B Visa?

H1B visa is a temporary visa issued under the non-immigrant visa category to temporary workers for employment in the US. As per rules, the employer has to apply for the visa petition with the US Immigration Department and once approved, the visa acts like a work permit which allows you to obtain a visa stamp and work in the US for that employer.The US gives 65,000 H1B visas each year and an additional 20,000 more for foreign students in US. In 2016, till August, Indian workers had got 72 per cent of total H1B visas issued worldwide. H1B Visa Process check here

As per the proposed order of the Trump Administration, the conditions for H1B Visas are as follows:

. Firms applying for H1B visas for its employees will have to hire Americans first.

. If the firm already employs foreign workers then priority will be given to the highest paid.

. The minimum salary for an H1B visa to be doubled, to around US$130,000 per annum from the present US$60,000.

. The draft also proposes to reserve 20% of the H1B visas allocated annually for firms that have 50 or fewer employees.

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