Big blow to Indian techies! US proposes to scrap computerised lottery system for H-1B visas
In what comes as a major blow for Indian technology professionals in the United States, the Trump administration has proposed to scrap the computerised lottery system to grant H-1B work visas and replace it with a wage-level-based selection process, a move that is expected to counter the downward pressure on the wages of US workers.
In what comes as a major blow for Indian technology professionals in the United States, the Trump administration has proposed to scrap the computerised lottery system to grant H-1B work visas and replace it with a wage-level-based selection process, a move that is expected to counter the downward pressure on the wages of US workers. A new notification in this regard was published on Thursday.
Stakeholders have 30 days to respond to the notification, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Wednesday, less than a week before the US presidential election. The DHS added that the move will help counter the downward pressure on the wages of American workers that is created by an annual influx of relatively lower-paid, new cap-subject H-1B workers.
If finalised as proposed, US Citizenship and Immigration Services would first select registrations (or petitions, if the registration process is suspended) generally based on the highest Occupational Employment Statistics prevailing wage level that the offered wage equals or exceeds for the relevant Standard Occupational Classification code and areas of intended employment.
“Prioritisation and selection based on wage levels better balances the interests of petitioners, H-1B workers, and U.S. Workers,” the DHS said.
The H-1B visa, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
“With this proposed rule, the Trump administration is continuing to deliver on its promise to protect the American worker while strengthening the economy. The H-1B programme is often exploited and abused by U.S. Employers, and their U.S. Clients, primarily seeking to hire foreign workers and pay lower wages,” said Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.
Reforming America's immigration regime is a major election promise of Donald Trump under his America First policy.
“The current use of random selection to allocate H-1B visas makes it harder for businesses to plan their hiring, fails to leverage the H-1B programme to truly compete for the world's best and brightest, and hurts American workers by bringing in relatively lower-paid foreign labour at the expense of the American workforce,” Cuccinelli said.
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