In The Pipeline: New H-1B Visa Rule Amendments

The erratic Donald Trump, the in-office US President, is again in the news, though one cannot say if it is for the wrong or the right reason. The Trump Government is, reportedly, planning to bring around a law proposed in 2011 to start pre-registration for the recruiters/firms, planning to engage those from abroad under the H-1B Visa Scheme, and improve the description of the high speciality profession it applied to.

It is not known if the development would be positive or negative for the US recruiters, keen to usher-in workers from abroad on the H-1B Visa. It is also not known if the development would make it easier or difficult for the US recruiters/firms to hire H-1B workers. The US recruiters/firms also include the American affiliates of the Indian IT biggies, such as the Infosys, Wipro, and TCS.

New H-1B Visa Rule Amendments

New H-1B Visa Rule Amendments

Under the latest regulation–which may come into force this February–the American organizations will have to first electronically list for the visas that are subject to an yearly limit of 85,000 — 65,000 for the outsiders moving in from overseas, and 20,000 for those outsiders with higher degrees from the various American colleges & universities.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which manages the H-1B Visa Scheme, will haphazardly choose — perhaps, via an electronic lottery — the beneficiary recruiters/firms from among those listed. As per an estimate, 70% of the H-1B employees are from India, who also includes those on the pay-roll of the US groups, like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — the parent ministry of the USCIS — had offered the pre-registration rule in its regulatory plan for 2018 filed previously this month. No operational particulars would be obtainable till the law makes its way to the federal register, which is anticipated in February this year.

The Trump Government is also reportedly planning to pull out an Obama-era rule that permits work-permits to the partners of the H-1B visa-holders who are cooling their heels for Green Card or Permanent Residency (PR). This is allegedly in tune with the Trump Government’s focus on maintaining the US employment opportunities for the local people under what is called the Buy American, Hire American goal.

Propelled by the same goal, the DHS is also reportedly planning a rule that would review the meaning of specialty occupation, allegedly to boost focus on truthfully getting the finest talent from abroad through the H-1B Scheme, and would review the description of employment and employer-employee association, to assist safeguard the local manpower and salaries in a better way.

Allegedly, through the selection of application, preference would be given to those with highest salaries, which is fundamentally a move envisioned to stop the US recruiters/firms from signing-up the outsiders for the low-paying jobs that could effortlessly be filled, as the detractors of the H-1B Visa Plan allegedly claim, with the local workers.

A few of these improvements are reportedly already happening — like the high-speciality meaning. For example, a Computer Programmer is not reckoned as exceedingly trained.

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