- H-1B visa holders get one extension of three years
- US is contemplating end to extension of visas after one extension lapses
- Indian workers keep applying for extensions while awaiting green cards
While the Indian IT (information technology) sector is reeling under pressure from a pending US Bill that seeks to cut down the number of H-1B visa entrants, the recent media report on awaited curbs on H-1B visa extensions further exacerbates the techies' worries. As per the media reports, US is contemplating an end to extensions of H-1B visas for those who are awaiting their green cards. H-1 B visas are given for three years after which the workers are entitled to one extension of similar duration. The visa holders tend to apply for extensions (after the six-year period lapses) on the ground that their green card application is due for approval. The India-based Nasscom (National Association for Software and Service companies) tried to calm the tempers when its president said that any such step will not only be detrimental to Indian's economy but also to the US's.
Eight Things To Know About H-1B Visa Workers' Worries
1. Media reports suggest that the US is mulling new rules to prevent the extension of H-1 B visas for three years after their first term of similar term comes to an end, PTI reported on Wednesday.
2. The worries were partly tamed by the Nasscom that said the tightening of rules will be prejudicial to the interests of America as well since its economy is short of IT talent and the move will hamper the IT sector of America. "Given that there is a real problem of shortage of skilled professionals in the US, any disruptive move will be detrimental for both India and the US," Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar was quoted by PTI as saying on Wednesday.
3. The move is part of the Donald Trump's policy of 'Buy American, Hire American'. The US President has been speaking against the influx of immigrants who come via H-1B visas because the visa entrants reportedly deprive some of the locals of jobs.
4. Besides the impending rule change, there is a US Bill "Protect and Grow American Jobs" that proposes new restrictions to prevent the misuse of H-1B visas. As per the upcoming legislation, the visa dependent companies will have to raise the minimum salary for H-1B visa holders from $60,000 to $90,000.
5. The legislation also places the onus on clients who will have to certify that the visa holder is not displacing an existing employee for a tenure of five to six years. This bill has already been cleared by the House Judiciary Committee and is now headed for the US Senate.
6. H-1B visa regime issues 65,000 visas a year to the people with highly specialized knowledge.
7. After becoming the president, Donald Trump had signed an executive order aimed at tightening the process of issuing the H-1B visas.
8. There are reports that allege that Trump, soon before taking over as president, was sympathetic towards US Tech firms and was n't against the H-1B visa in principle. A book 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House' written by a journalist Michael Wolff claims after Donald Trump had met a team of business captains of Silicon Valley firms on December 14, 2016, PTI reports. After the meeting, the president-elect had reportedly admitted that the US tech industry needed help on the issue of H-1B visas. "Take this H-1B visa issue. They really need these H-1B visas," Trump was quoted as telling the media mogul Rupert Murdoch over phone after the meeting. The White House, however, has disputed the book's content.
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