United States, H1B Visas – As soon as Trump declared his election propaganda of bringing jobs back to United States, it marked the inception of fear in Indians holding and applying for H-1B Visa.

Obama is gone and Trump has taken Presidency. Trump’s policy of bring job backs to America has lead Indians to think about the future of H1B Visas.

The era of Obama is over and now, Donald Trump is President of United States of America and whole world is watching keenly what will be his policies. Indians are more concerned about his policies for H1B Visa. What will be Trump’s Immigration Policy? Is he going to dump H1B visas entirely?  Will Trump end H1B visas in America for Indians? Questions like this have been haunting Indian community all around the world. I have spent some time in analysing this issue.

Let’s understand the history of H-1B Visa –

H-1B work permit is a temporary visa given by United States (US) government to the foreign workers of US companies.  It was started in 1990, under the rule of George H. W. Bush. The intention behind passing the Immigration Act was to fill the deficit of skilled worker in US.

With current status, 65,000 visas are made available each year. Additionally, 20,000 for foreign students are allowed who complete Master’s degree from there. 

When the H-1B visas are issued by the US government, it is valid for only 3 years. It can be renewed for another 3 years. During the completion of 6 years, the recipient can either apply for green card or he should return back to their home country.  In real time, it is not at all easy to get green card. There is a long backlog to get green card. Sometimes, the waiting time could take more than 50 years.

In such cases, the employers and employee both have only two choices – They can either wait for a long time to get their employees green card or leave US. The employer holds access and control to H-1B visa, hence it does not allow employees to switch job and sometimes, it leads to bondage workers concept. This can lead to abuse of workers who are made to work endlessly and the concept of body shopping comes into picture. Where the companies send employees to US and earn a portion of their salary and make them work for certain year.

Ultimately, it should be ensured that fair rules for transformation of H-1B to green card holders. It will make employees keep control over their visa other than employers controlling their visa.

Election manifesto of Trump – In an open debate Trump has said that he will end forever the use of H-1B as a cheap labour program. As per Trump, H1B visas are decimating US workers. He also had concerns for need of high skilled foreign workers in America. His focus was on Indian students who come there for education and favoured them to stay there.

Trump said that he favours skilled workers coming to US as long as they come legally to US. Trump said that "You know, they go to Harvard, they are first in their class and they're from India they go back to India and they set up companies and they make a fortune and they employ lots of people and all of that. Many people want to stay in this country and then want to do that. I think somebody that goes through years of college in this country we shouldn't kick them out the day they graduate, which we do.” Trump wanted to focus in raising the wages being paid to H1B workers. So that US companies can be pressurised to hire local talent.

The IT industry of India is of worth 146 Billion dollars. And it is hugely dependent on US government for H1B programs. Almost 2,50,000 H1B visa applications were applied in 2017 financial year. Among them only 65,000 will get H1B.

Conclusion: Donald Trump in his election manifesto has often said that India is friendly country and he is a good friend of India. We might see some changes in the wages being paid to H1B holders in United States. And one thing is 100% sure that H1B is going to stay here for long time.

About The Author

Chetan Sharma is an Indian fact-checker and news writer, writing news for Ayupp since 2014.

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