US President Donald Trump tightens the rules for H1-B Visa, big blow to Indian Techies

New York:  United States President Donald Trump stance on H1-B has always been problematic for Indian techies. It has now become more serious as Trump has announced a tightening of rules for immigration visas used widely by the technology firms citing that- the new system would be better for American workers. Amid coronavirus, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday the new regulations for so-called H-1B visas for highly skilled workers, which allow up to 85,000 immigrants annually.

The decision was made to restrict the H-1B visas for foreign skilled workers and tighten wage-based entry barriers in defence of 500,000 Americans who have lost their jobs because of “H1B non-immigrants as per the data. This is most likely to affect the Indian techies as they form the major part of the H1-B visa clan. India accounts for upwards of 70 percent, most years.

According to media reports, Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said about one-third of the people who have applied for H-1B visas would be denied under the new rules.  The move is also supposed to come ahead of the US election for which less than 30 days are left. The timing of the H1B visa hammering is business as usual for foreign workers.

The latest blow comes to multiple departments that coordinate and monitor the crisscrossing elements of foreign worker visas: US Department of Labor (DoL), US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Department of Labor`s revisions to minimum salary requirements take effect Thursday and DHS` H1B revisions will hit home in 60 days.

The DOL rule will raise the four salary tiers for employees on H1Bs and other professional visas, which currently begin at the 17th percentiles for each industry, to the 45th percentile. The Department is also tightening the screws on the definition of “specialty occupation” to make it align with what it calls the “verbatim” description.

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