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H-1B visa process changes and its impact on India

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

The Trump administration is set to revise the H-1B visa application process. The changes in the process will have a huge impact on Indian techies wanting to work in the United States. Here’s how the new changes will impact Indian techies: 

Possible ban on H-4 visas 

This visa is issued to dependent family members, be it the child or spouse of the H-1B visa holder. The visa allows the employee’s spouse and children below the age of 21 to work in the US. A number of Indian families working in US and especially Silicon Valley are dependent on dual-income to support the needs of their family. The Obama administration had allowed H-1B spouses to legally work in the United States. Trump administration is in final stages to revoke the work permit of H-4 visa holders. The move will impact thousands of Indian families living in the United States. 

Impact on lower skilled jobs 

The Trump administration wants to offer the H-1B visa only to highly skilled foreign workers. The US visa authority believes that US companies leverage the H-1B visa to source low skilled labor in the country. Going forward, the H-1B visa will not be offered for the lower-skilled jobs. The government is set to put strict scrutiny on the H-1B visa. Under the proposed new policy, only highly qualified candidates will be eligible to apply for the H-1B visa program. 

Increase in H-1B visa denials 

Big tech companies including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have alleged that the new H-1B visa rule is making it tougher for companies to hire skilled foreign workers. Applications are being held up by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Tech companies are dependent on visas to hire thousands of skilled employees from Asian countries like India and China. 

Indians have been the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B visa program. Nearly 75% of H-1B visa holders are Indian nationals. The data released by USCIS suggests that 419,637 foreign workers hold H-1B visas, out of which 309,986 are Indians. 93% of H4 visa holders are from India as well. As of December 2017, USCIS had approved 126,853 applications for employment authorization for H4 visa holders. The move to alter H-1B visa rules and revoke the work permit of H4 visa holder will impact 1 lakh Indian families living the US. 


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