Donald Trump overhauls the H1-B Visa rules

The Donald Trump administration has announced significant changes to the H-1B visa program for high-skilled foreign workers that will need companies to pay H-1B workers considerably higher wages.

The Donald Trump administration has announced significant changes to the H-1B visa program for high-skilled workers, claiming that the new system would be better for American workers. The H-1B visa is popular among Indian IT professionals.

The Visa is for a non-immigrant, that allows US firms to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require technical expertise.

Donald Trump and the Administration

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled the new rules for the H-1B visas. The norms are for tickets, which allow up to 85,000 immigrants annually.

The new rules will directly impact foreign workers and companies, particularly tech firms that have long backed the coveted visa program and pushed hard for its expansion.

However, sizeable Indian information technology (IT) companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro, HCL, and Tech Mahindra have started cutting their H-1B visa dependence last three years.

Some of the companies have been recruiting locally.

Safeguarding and other practices

However, several news reports mentioned that the US framed the new regulations to safeguard American jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.

Earlier, a federal judge in the US blocked the implementation of the H-1B visa ban by Trump.

Consequently, the reason was that the president exceeded his constitutional authority with the order issued in June.

The final say

The interim final rule was announced by the DHS, less than four weeks ahead of the US presidential poll. The final rule will narrow the definition of specialty occupation as Congress intended by closing the overbroad definition that allowed companies to game the system.

It will also require companies to make real offers to real employees by closing loopholes and preventing American workers’ displacement. And the new regulations would enhance the department’s ability to enforce compliance through worksite inspections. After an H1-B petition is approved, the DHS said in a release.

The new rule

Kenneth Cuccinelli, deputy secretary of DHS, says that he expected the changes to reduce by one-third the number of applications.

According to the DHS, the interim final rule published in Federal Register will be useful in 60 days. Consequently, it also mentioned that this rule would combat H-1B workers’ use to serve as a low-cost replacement for otherwise qualified American workers.

According to the DHS, the H-1B program is to allow employers to fill gaps in their workforce. However, it has now expanded far beyond that, often to the detriment of US workers.

Image courtesy of Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock

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