A bill that has been introduced in the US Congress has sought comprehensive modifications to the H1-B visa that includes doubling the salary for the visa. It was introduced by a member of the Congress of the Democratic Party Zoe Lofgren and proposes the current salary slab of $60,000 to be increased to $ 1, 30,000.
This legislation will make it tough for the companies to use the H1-B visa to replace the US staff with overseas workers that include India too. If the bill is passed in the US Congress, it will severely affect the firms in the US and India that utilize the visa to recruit skilled overseas staff including from India.
However, a wide-ranging reform of the immigration policies is an extended issue in America. Formulating a legislation that would fit all the domestic constituencies in the US will be a herculean task. As of now, there are four bills on the H1-B visa alone that includes the latest introduced bill by Ms. Lofgren, as quoted by The Hindu.
The argument put forth by her is that the legislation will permit firms to recruit overseas workers only when it is not available locally. It addresses the issue of undermining local US talent by recruiting economical alternatives from overseas.
Elaborating on the legislation Ms. Lofgren said that it aims to revert to the focus of the H1-B visa to its novel intention to search and seek the brightest and best talent across the globe. It aims to complement the labor force in the US with highly skilled, highly paid and talented workers who will assist in job creation and not the replacement.
Ms. Lofgren is a representative from the regions of Silicon Valley to the US Congress similar to Indian origin house member Ro Khanna who is also in favor of similar reformation of the H1-B visa.
Meanwhile, as the lawmaking path to the visa regime is being sought, an executive order is already being planned that will reverse the decisions of previous presidents G.W. Bush and Obama that had broadened the scope of the original legislation.
It has been reported by Vox.com that an executive order has been drafted that seeks to reform the immigration policies and is awaiting the signature of US President Trump.
The proposed draft mandates that the Department of Homeland Security carries out immediate site visits to firms that have overseas workers with L-1 visas. It is proposed to expand the scope of these inspections within two years to all firms that employ guest workers. L-1 visas are utilized for intra-company job transfers. The draft also seeks to advance the scrutiny of overseas students by the DHS.
Vox had received six documents from a reliable source that included one document related to strengthening the truthfulness of overseas worker visa programs by defending American jobs and employees.
The documents were not published until the time two of them actually turned out to be valid and the third one also turned out to be true last week, the one on banning immigration from Muslim majority nations.
Also on the anvil is the reduction of the job duration allowed for optional practical training, which is one year. But the successive governments of the US have extended this term to three years for master’s students in the Technology, Science, Mathematics, and Engineering.
Rahul Choudaha, the co-founder of U.S based provider of support services for international students, InterEdge has said that statistics from student exchange and visitor program reveals that 83% of the students from India were enrolled in STEM programs.