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.