Do the new H1B visa norms affect my chances of employment in the US after education?

A whole set of skilled labours in India including the IT employees, market researchers, analysts, web developers, financial advisors, consultants and others are little sceptical of their dreams of studying in USA. A very common topic of discussion amongst the students who attend education fair in Bangalore is that how do the new visa norm affect their candidature to work in US.

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How does it affect you?

The governing body which controls the entire process of H1B visas is the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The new H1B norms could now impact you in the following ways

Speciality Occupation:

The new H1B visa rules will now hit techies the hardest. Entry level computer programmers would be at a biggest loss because they will now not be considered as speciality occupation – a criteria that was considered must for you to be eligible for H1B visa. This change could impact all entry level programmers and employees who are working with tech giants like TCS, HCL, Wipro, Cognizant etc. This could further impact the future prospectus of those programmers who were looking to work in USA in next cycle. Candidates may now be required to furnish more proof that their job falls under ‘speciality occupation’ category.

Education Level and Degree:

The new proposed bill also states that programmers who have an associate master degree in computer science or a degree less than bachelor’s will also not be eligible for H1B. People who have a diploma degree at the entry level could also be affected adversely. The norm also mandates that workers not educated in US would also not be eligible for H1B visa under the new rule.

Salary Cut-off:

As per the new bill, a legislation has been introduced to more than double the minimum salary requirement of an employee holding H1B from $ 60,000 to $ 130,000. This move was introduced to protect the native employees in US from being replaced from much cheaper foreign labour who are hired from other countries. As per this norm, H1B visa will be given with high priority to those companies who are willing to pay the most and who meet the aforementioned criteria. This will then ensure that American companies can use the talent available locally rather than cutting American wages and outsourcing jobs to outside labour force.

Change in Hiring Patterns:

This move could well impact the hiring pattern in many Indian companies, especially the IT firms. These firms may start cutting down the number of employees they higher annually owing to visa regulations and automation. A direct impact of this could be a change in their hiring strategy when they may be willing to hire more local people overseas.

An unwelcome change for many Indians working in US:

There will be another major impact to Indians who are working for several years in US and hold H1B visa. With the changed norms, it may simply mean an end to their US stay and they could be asked to return back to their home country in case their request for visa extension gets rejected.

Reason for this change

Trump administration wants to prevent the misuse of H1B visas that could be a cause of discrimination against the US workers. As per USCIS, the administration advises the companies to hire US workers instead of foreign nationals. They want to protect the American workforce by fighting fraud in the employment-based immigration programs. USCIS states that there are too many US native employees who have been devoid of employment in the local companies despite being eligible, qualified and willing to work.

So in case you fall in the purview of any of the above scenarios, it may well impact your employment chances in US. For further clarifications, you can attend any of the upcoming education fair in Bangalore.

The New Norms of H1-B Visa and how it Affects Employment for International Students

H1 Visa Application
Image Sources: Study Overseas Global

A common topic between students and education consultants at study abroad education fairs in India is the recently introduced bill aimed at overhauling the work visa program was introduced in the US House of Representatives. If passed by majority in both houses of Congress, it will become a lot harder for Indians and other immigrants applying for H1-B visas. The core reason behind this is that minimum wage has been increased by over a double from $60,000 to $130,00,00 per annum.

Who will be Affected by this New Ruling?

This reform aims to maintain the interests of Americans against the influx of international workers entering the US job market. Up until last year, the country issued about 85,000 H1-B visas each year. A major chunk of these applicants included Indian students who migrate to the US to pursue higher education and apply for jobs in tech companies and other industries. They will be among the most affected by these changes in the visa policy.

The Impact of this Policy Change on India

If you have spoken to enough representatives at the study abroad education fair, you will find that the effects have already been felt in the Indian markets. For starters, share prices of major tech companies who have been sending their talent to the US, have already been plummeting. Companies such as Tech Mahindra, HCL, Infosys, TCS and Wipro are among the badly hit. Furthermore, this act has also resulted in a decrease in interest in students who were otherwise flocking to American universities. The worry is that Indian tech companies may be compelled to reduce the number of Indians they send off-site because of the cost. Furthermore, this also affects the job prospects of international students currently or planning to study in the US.

What are my Chances of Getting A US Visa?

As long as you are a genuine student planning to visit the United States for higher education, your chances of getting rejected for your student visa are minimal. Since this act also intends to reduce the gap of students with their F-1 visa status to becoming Lawful Permanent Residences, the visas will not be denied solely because the you intend to immigrate to the US. This especially is true for those holding O-1 visas for extraordinary ability, Athletes, artists and entertainers with a P visa or holders of free trade visas.

Overall, the response to what is happening in the US with regards to the HI-B visa policy has been varied. Indian IT service companies who have always stuck to the philosophy that outsourcing not only helps India but also helps the countries doing the outsourcing. This policy change has significantly outranged them. Furthermore, students, parents and educators too are concerned about whether this policy will affect their long-term employment prospects.

That said, an education in the US demands high income jobs in most other parts of the world, continuing to open doors for Indian students with a degree from a renowned American university.

The proposed H1-B visa policy change has gotten students planning to study in the US concerned about their prospects. This article discusses what you need to know about the change and how it may affect you.