During the presidential campaign last year, the new President of USA had assailed the skilled worker visa program that was used to send foreigners to the US from other countries. Later in, his inaugural speech he said that the country will follow the two simple rules namely Buy American and Hire American. So many wondered as to how quickly or how much could Mr. Trump change the regulations? Yes, true to the words the first draft for the amendment of the existing visa rules for h1b visa jobs was filed in January and in the first week of April it comes into effect.
In the Trump era, it is being led by rambunctious democracies which is also led by populists and focusses primarily on economic growth and fighting radical Islam. As the president is looking forward to helping American workers his administration is mainly considering a broad review of the visa program. Speculation about the so-called h1b visas sent many top companies stocks tumbling last week and technology sector is so crucial not only for the US but also the other countries as it is creating jobs for the fast-growing and young workforce which is a top priority.
There is a general sense of despair in the industry and since the cost of hiring the people on h1b visas would increase thus hurting the tech companies bottom line. America is also the main customer and it has accounted for more than 60% of India’s outsourcing sales last year according to NASSCOM which is the Indian industry lobby group. An executive draft has also been prepared to get a clear idea in specifics like a report within a few months on the kind of injury that has been caused to the US workers by the international workers who are on h1b sponsorship jobs and a reconsideration of how to give and mark the visa’s so as to ensure only the best and the brightest get a chance.
The government grants 85,000 visas every year for a broad range of occupations and the people who get it can stay in the country for up to 6 years. Even the first lady of US Mrs. Melania who hails from Slovenia had one when she set foot on US soil in the 90’s as a fashion model. The top occupations are however tech-based and more than 70% of the recipients are Indians followed by Chinese. Most of the critics say that the program is abused as most of the companies are contracting out the jobs to consulting firms to bring lower-paid workers from overseas like Asian countries. Employees on H1b visas are not able to change their employers and are having very little leverage to negotiate their salaries.
Since the existing visa program is allowing companies to fill the skill shortages as well as encouraging the students with high degrees to stay in the US. Many argue that the administration should first address the skill shortages and train the American workers and develop a quicker path to also providing permanent residency for International talent. Without taking these sets just by restricting h1b visa would mean more tech jobs will the US. Most of the governments want more visas to be issued and not less and since the visa fees were hiked in 2015 and many have even challenged the immigration laws. US must not forget that the software industry’s role in building and maintaining the information infrastructure of major US corporations by many international employees is critical to their success.