Students from India and those on the Optional Practical Training in the US are confused and doubtful regarding the impact of the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017. This is a proposed legislation that seeks to reform the H1-B visas system.
Several firms in the US are of the view that the bill will not sail through the concluding barrier, but passed it is most likely to affect prospective plans of Indian students in IT streams and those on OPT.
During the OPT period, the degree holders and undergraduate students with F-1 status are allowed to work for a period of one year to obtain industry exposure complimenting their education, as quoted by the Hindu.
Santosh Kakulavaram a staff pattern expert based in Detroit has said that though it is still not apparent what precise impact will be produced by the bill, it has certainly created fears in the minds of the students.
The top talents in the IT industry will not be affected by even if the bill is passed and will affect only people from the non-IT industry whom clients will not be inclined pay more salary and would prefer to hire local talents in the US, said Santosh Kakulavaram.
According to Narsi Reddy Gayam, a trainer and consultant on US education, around 1.8 lakh students are on OPT in the US and the proposed law will make it tough for them to obtain H1-B status.
The views expressed by him echo the sentiments of several Indian students. One of the Indian students in Virginia currently on Opt in IT sector said on grounds of anonymity that all are worried whether they will be permitted to stay in the US or will be sent back to India. He also added that majority of his friends were similarly agonized.
But the ones who are on H1-B visa and have attained the I-140 status are relatively stress free. They are eligible for unrestricted extension of H1-B visa and can acquire the green card shortly.
Santosh said that initially the consultancies will ignore the applicants of OPT holders and seek green cards holders to be safe legally and to sound sensible on the financial aspect. But the actual issue is that whether firms will be ready to pay huge salaries for non-IT professions such as the Business analysts or QA Testers.