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New Changes to H1B Visa underway

Read Latest H1B Visa Process Guidelines

The House Judiciary Committee in the USA has passed the HR 170 act, which is also popularly known as the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act.

The primary aim of the act was to prevent companies and employers in the United States from taking undue advantage of the H1B program, a Visa Program that enabled a set number of Skilled Immigrants from different countries around the world to be employed by American companies, thus providing the American industry with the talent they require. The visa is valid for three years and is extendable to six years.

Changes For H1b Immigrants Under New HR 170 Act

The visa was introduced in 1989 with an intention of addressing the shortage of Skilled Labor in the country mainly in the ICE sector. However, of late there had been growing concern about the misuse of the Visa System to bring in immigrants who were replacing the American Citizens and taking away jobs from the locals.

This prompted advocates of local American jobs to push for reforms in the H1B Visa program and led to the HR 170 act of 2017. The act was tabled in the American senate house in March 2017 had proposed the following alternatives to the immigrant program.

[Read More: H1-B Visa Restrictions Backed Off]

The permitted authorized entry to the holder of H1B Visa was proposed to be reduced to

Three years from six years set originally

  1. The bill also proposed to increase the power of the Department of labor, to audit and punish any company that violates the H1B standards.
  2. The bill also seeks to prevent an employer from hiring an L1 worker for a period exceeding one year.
  3. The bill also seeks to increase the minimum permissible wage for H1B Visa holders and made it a mandatory to hold a degree from the US or an equivalent foreign degree.

Changes Expected By The New Bill

The House bill is expected to bring in the following changes if passed into the law.

  1. The minimum salary required to be considered for H1B Immigrant is set to increase to 90,000 USD per year as against the current limit set at 60,000 USD per year.
  2. The bill also has proposed to remove the exemption that Masters degree holders enjoyed previously to enter as H1B immigrants
  3. The bill also requires employers to confirm that a US Worker has not been replaced as a direct result of the hiring of an H1B Immigrant.
  4. A company which hires 15 percent of its work-force under H1B will now be considered as H1B dependent under the earlier 20 percent

Impact On Indian IT Sector

According to studies conducted by the Pew Research Center, based on data from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the year 2016, comprising of eight of the top 10 Indian Information Technology companies, the average salary for H1B Immigrants from India was higher than the median salary paid to US Citizens in jobs related to STEM fields.

The NASSCOM association has stated that the employers who make use of the H1B Program for hiring immigrants are already highly regulated and putting additional scrutiny on them would have a negative impact on the talent acquisition by US companies and make them lose their edge in Global innovativeness and competition.

[Read More: Merit Based Immigration to USA]

Already a number of skilled immigrants prefer to make Canada their new destination as it emerges as the new hub for global innovation. Whether this bill which is yet to be passed in the Senate and signed into law, put the brakes on American Innovation only time will tell. But one thing that the Indian IT sector can take heart in is that the truly meritorious will still be welcomed into the US economy.

To know more about the changes to H1B and how it affects you get in touch with Global Tree, the most Trusted Immigration Consultant in India

Frequently Asked Questions

Canada: The Great White North is Number 1 on this list. With easy immigration processes, a welcoming society, great education and healthcare, cool weather, and the ever-growing job market, Canada is the undisputed leader in immigration potential.

Germany: The Deutschland is famous for precision, quality, and high expectations. Unsurprisingly, it makes the list but we’re still going to spell it out. Currently, home to over 170,000 Indians, Germany is a melting pot of different cultures mostly from other countries in the EU. A veritable hub for mechanical engineering, Germany has a low level of corruption, and a love for innovation and is home to over 25 Fortune 500 companies. With the demand for highly skilled professionals, Germany is a choice destination for young, smart immigrants from all over the world.

Provincial Nominee Program is one of the best routes for Canadian immigration. Every province (state) in Canada has its criteria for immigration. This criterion is custom-fitted to reflect the needs and growth opportunities arising in that respective province.

A Master’s Degree translates directly into a better CRS score. Your educational qualifications reflect the contribution you would make to the destination country’s economy which means that you would be more sought after. Speaking one of the country's primary languages (Eg: French for Canada) also greatly raises your chances for both visa success as well job opportunities.

If you fall under the NOC list in Canada or SOL in Australia (Occupations in demand list), it means that jobs are readily available for qualified candidates. On average, individuals earn 8 times as much salary in Canada as compared to India.


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