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Tougher H-1B policies make it difficult for foreign nationals to find work in the US

There are chances that your “American Dream” will remain just that – a dream. The Trump Government has put forth a proposal, which if becomes a reality would mean more obstacles for securing an American H-1B visa.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The US President has time and again clarified his stance on H-1B program. “I would end forever the use of H-1B as a cheap labor program,” he had remarked. Trump government is planning to institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program without any exceptions.

Industry group Compete America, in its Nov. 1 letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, mentioned that the agency’s approach to deciding who gets an H-1B visa was “leaving employers with a disruptive lack of clarity about the agency’s practices, procedures, and policies.”

Compete America, which represents tech giants including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, IBM and Walmart, plus outsourcing and consulting firms Accenture and Deloitte, fear that federal authorities were denying and obstructing H-1B applications for improper reasons.

The proposed H-1B scheme, though unclear, seems to be favoring workers with higher education levels. Even though, the Trump Administration has not made any overt moves against the H-1B visa as yet, companies are clamoring for more clarity in the procedures as more and more H-1B applications are denied or held up by demands for more information. According to Corporate America here has been a “dramatic increase” in the number of applications denied and a “sharp increase” in notices of intent to deny or revoke H-1B visas.

A White House official has stated that they are focusing on “promoting the concept of merit-based immigration.” Though this is a cause for concern for tech companies in U.S looking for skilled foreign employees and workers planning to move abroad, many Americans welcome this. “We don’t want ’em here because they’re replacing American workers. Employers complain about a labor shortage, but industry makes it very hard for us to get the jobs,” said Joe Miano, a lawyer whose plaintiffs have lost jobs to H-1B holders.

Likewise, there is a move to revoke the regulation adopted in May 2015, by the federal government that gave certain H-4 spouses the right to work. H4 visa is issued to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H-1B visa holders.

 

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