750,000 H-1B visa holders may face deportation if proposed tweak in rules gets approved

The proposed US Bill places new restrictions to prevent abuse and misuse of H-1B visas.

750,000 H-1B visa holders may face deportation if proposed tweak in rules gets approved

New Delhi: The proposed US Bill -- Protect and Grow American Jobs – suggesting tweaks in H-1B visa, the most sought after among Indian IT professionals, may see huge deportation.

As per media reports, if the proposal gets approved, it can cause an estimated deportation of 500,000-750,000 H-1B visa holders. The Bill has been passed by the House Judiciary Committee and is now headed for the US Senate.

The bill proposes new restrictions to prevent abuse and misuse of H-1B visas. It tightens the definition of visa- dependent companies, and imposes fresh restrictions in terms of minimum salary and movement of talent.

Apart from prescribing higher minimum wages, the Bill places the onus on clients that they will certify that the visa holder is not displacing an existing employee for a tenure of 5-6 years.

The Bill proposes to raise the minimum wage substantially to about USD 100,000 if the company has to be exempted from the labour certification requirements.

The software services provider will have to notify the US authorities if the client has displaced a worker, an obligation that is unprecedented.

Software body Nasscom has cautioned that the Bill is riddled with "onerous conditions" and places "unprecedented obligations" on both Indian IT companies and clients using H-1B visas.

"We do not know the exact timeline but we have been told it will come up early 2018," R Chandrashekhar, President, National Association for Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has said.

Chandrashekhar said another "extreme concern" is that "in the name of protecting American jobs, this has been applied only to the so called visa-dependent companies that translates to Indian companies".

"There is no doubt we have been seeing an increasingly negative environment and this is a part of the protectionist, anti-globalisation trend," he said referring to a slew of measures taken by the US in the recent past, including increased visa scrutiny, premium visa processing being put on hold for a few months etc.

 

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