US To Revise H-1B Visa Definition, Planning Repeal Of H-4 Visa: 10 Points

H IB visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US fims to employ foreigners in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

US To Revise H-1B Visa Definition, Planning Repeal Of H-4 Visa: 10 Points

H-1B visa: IT firms depend on H-1B to hire employees each year from countries like India and China.

The US is planning a major overhaul in the definition of employment and specialty occupations under H-1B visas, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said. The move will have an adverse impact on Indian IT (information technology) companies and small and medium-sized contractual firms, mostly owned by Indian-Americans, according to a report by news agency Press Trust of India (PTI). The President Donald Trump-led administration also said that revoking the H-4 visa, which allows spouses of H-1B visa holders to work, will benefit some US workers. H-1B visa, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Here are 10 latest updates on H-1B visas, H-4 visas:
  1. The DHS said On Wednesday that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with a new proposal by January, 2019. USCIS will propose revision of the "definition of specialty occupation" to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme
  2. DHS will also "revise the definition" of employment and employer-employee relationship to "better protect" US workers and wages, the DHS said. Such a move is part of the Unified Fall Agenda of the Trump administration. 
  3. In addition, the DHS will propose additional requirements designed to ensure employers pay appropriate wages to H-1B visa holders, the administration was quoted as saying in the PTI report.              
  4. The DHS said it will also finalise its interim regulation governing petitions filed on behalf of alien workers subject to the annual numerical limitations applicable to the H-1B non-immigrant classification.   
  5. This rule precludes an individual from filing duplicate petitions on behalf of the same alien temporary worker. The rule also makes accommodations for petitioners to create a more efficient filing process for H-1B petitions subject to the annual numerical limitation.
  6. Observing that the demand for H-1B visas has often exceeded the numerical limitation, the DHS said it was proposing to establish an electronic registration programme for such applications.     
  7. Trump administration is also planning to revoke a rule that makes spouses of thousands of immigrant workers eligible to work while in the US, a move that could impact tens of thousands of Indians. Abandoning the Obama-era rule of granting work permits to H-4 visa holders - who are spouses of professionals holding H-1B visas, mostly Indians - will benefit some US workers, the DHS believes.  
  8. H-4 visa is issued to spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India. The DHS said the proposed rule would no longer allow H-4 workers to enter the labour market early.
  9. The move could impact more than 70,000 H-4 visas holders, who have had obtained work permits under a special order issued by the previous Obama administration in 2015.
  10. The Trump administration is reviewing the H-1B visa policy that it thinks is being misused by companies to replace American workers. (With agency inputs)

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