US H-1B policy memorandum likely to have little impact on members: Nasscom
1.The US government had issued a policy memorandum on March 31 which suggests cancellation of the older provisions of H-1B visa applications
2. It removes the special rights of computer programmers to be automatically considered eligible for H-1B visas
After the US Department of Homeland Security released a policy memorandum last week removing the special rights of computer programmers to be automatically considered eligible for the H1-B visas, India's IT industry body Nasscom on Tuesday said the latest development will have little impact on its members in the current year.
The US Department of Homeland Security on March 31 this year issued a policy memorandum with subject line 'Rescission of the December 22, 2000 “Guidance memo on H-1B computer related positions”' suggesting that the older provisions will be cancelled.
The memorandum has been issued for the training and guidance of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees, who are in charge of deciding and granting visas to foreign nationals.
"Now that H-1B petitions are once again being adjudicated by the National Security Council (NSC), USCIS officers at that service center may inadvertently follow the prior, but no longer adhered to, memorandum entitled “Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions” (dated December 22, 2000) from Terry Way, the former director of the NSC," cited the USCIS in a statement.
"While the Terry Way memorandum stated that most programmers had a bachelor’s degree or higher based on information provided by the Handbook, that information is not particularly relevant to a specialty occupation adjudication if it does not also provide the specific specialties the degrees were in and/or what, if any, relevance those degrees had to the computer programmer occupation. Further, the memorandum failed to mention that only “some” of those that had a bachelor’s or higher degree at that time held a degree in “computer science . . . or information systems," it further added.
Commenting on USCIS latest policy memorandum, Nasscom said,"The clarifying guidance should have little impact on Nasscom members as this has been the adjudicatory practice for years and also as several of our member executives have noted recently, they are applying for visas for higher level professionals this year."
H-1B visas are the most sought-after work visas by the Indian IT professionals.
Nasscom has further said it will continue to provide skilled Indian IT professionals to the US companies.
"The H-1B visa system exists specifically because of the persistent shortage of highly-skilled domestic IT talent in the US, and Nasscom member companies have and will continue to provide skilled talent and solutions to fill that gap and keep US companies competitive globally," cited the industry body.