H1B Visa Reform Bill :
h1b visa reform bill : H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows companies to employ foreigners for a period of up to six years. This visa is aims for helping companies employ foreigners in positions for which they have been unable to find American employees. The minimum salary for an employee holding the H1B visa is set at $60,000 per year. H1B visa holders are there to apply for permanent residency in the US as well as buy or sell property in the country.
H1B visa programme:
The aim of the H1B visa programme was to supplement the US workforce with high-skilled workers to do jobs, not to replace the US workers. But over time, there have been many grumblings that many companies use the H1B visa to replace American workers with foreign ones, as the latter can be hired at lower salaries without compromising on the skill sets. In some cases, American employees have object that they were made to train H1B holders to do their own jobs.
New H1B reform bill propose:
- H1B visa reform bill proposes a radical overhaul of the process, increasing the minimum salary for visa holders to be $130,000, more than double the current minimum.
- This would mean that companies would have to either pay rather highly for the skilled workers, or not choose foreign employees in favour of American citizens.
- H1b visa reform bill also eliminates the category of lowest pay, and raises the salary level at which H1B dependent employer are exempt from non-displacement and recruitment attestation requirements to greater than $130,000.
- Removes the ‘per country’ cap for employment-based immigrant visas.
- sets aside 20% of the annual H1B visas for small companies and startup employers (50 or fewer employers) to ensure small businesses have an opportunity to compete for high-skilled workers.
Impact by the H1B visa Reform Bill:
Among the biggest recipients of H1b visas each year are Indian IT firms, such as Infosys, TCS, Wipro, HCL, Igate, Cognizant, as well as global giants IBM, Accenture, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, among others.
If this bill passes, they will to bear significantly higher costs for employing highly-skilled foreign citizens. The visa reform may even create a gap in demand and supply for talent for smaller companies that cannot afford incurring high costs to employ skill workers.
- To eliminate the Master’s Degree exemption for employers. The current H-1B visa program has an annual limit of 65,000 visas each fiscal year, and the first 20,000 visas for U.S. master’s degree holders are exempt from that cap. These visas fill up pretty quickly and if the applications exceed the gap.
- New rules are overturn the existing duration of the optional practical training work visas known as OPTs, which are given to students after the completion of their studies to gain work experience.
- visa reform bill may bring back restrictions on the spouses of H1B visa holders who until recently not allow to work in the US and these draconian restrictions were seen as career killers, but in 2015.
Changes after H1b visa reform Bill in US:
Skilled foreign workers who come to work in the United States on H1-B visas don’t just directly supplement the US IT industry with special skillsets, they also contribute indirectly to other industries in the US. Often H1-B workers bring their families along and thereby bring additional business for other industries like real estate, Banking, hospitality, to name a few.
The effects of this announcement will impact the GDP and the overall business economy and growth of US. While 20% of H1-B visa reform bill quotas have been set aside for start-ups and small employers with 50 or fewer employees, there is no denying that this will be a overload to the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s critical to remember that most US-based companies (including many Fortune 500s) are highly dependent on IT Services Providers. These companies actively outsource for both skills and cost advantages – important to note, it’s not just the latter that drives the decisions. Changes in the H1-B visa arrangement will add immense cost pressures on these organisations.
India opinion H1b visa Reform Bill:
Indian government appears to have taken notice of the reports but it is unclear if it’s going to escalate the matter as a diplomatic issue. India has been largely silent on Trump administration’s recent immigration ban barring foreign nationals from seven Muslim-dominated countries.
1. Using wage as it’s only pivot, the bill has more than double the minimum wage requirement of H1-B visa reform bill holders from $60,000 to $130,000. There is no mention of any skills base criteria/requirement.
2.the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 prioritises market-base quota of H1-B visas to companies willing to pay 200 percent of a fixed wage. In light of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills gap currently prevailing in the US, a thorough on-the-ground study of multiple factors, with skills being the primary factor, should have been the foundation of the Act.
As labour and capital quit American shores, the more they try to protect their jobs, the more it will affect the rest of the world. But India being one of the fastest growing markets, has plenty of opportunities to stand up to it and deliver, but that require persistent mending of ways things function.
Initially the Indian companies will be pressurised to hire Indian talent, but eventually, it will help in overall growth. Additionally, Make in India and Buy American can work together too, which can only improve bilateral trade between the nations. While there may or may not be much logic in the events to come, the unpredictability can also be the sole reason for India to improve internally