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.