H-1B Visa Review : Good or Bad for Indian Techies?


United States President Donald Trump has ordered for the review of H-1B visa programme that is popular with Indian tech professionals. Trump has signed the executive order on April 18, 2017 (Tuesday) targeting the foreign tech professionals who’re working in the US. Surprisingly, the US tech industry and the corporate sector have welcomed the review of the H-1B visa programme and praised it as “much-needed” review of H-1B and expressed confidence that it would help them bring in the best and the brightest from across the world.
Tech advocacy group FWD.US said that the announcement should improve the visa system for highly-skilled workers. “Highly-skilled immigrants create new American jobs, raise wages for native-born workers, and contribute enormously to growing our economy. Finally, Congress should expand the number of H-1B visas offered while reforming the system to protect American workers”, said Todd Schulte, the group’s president.

As Trump ordered for review on H-1B, it kicked up a storm among Indian techies living in the US or planning to go to the US. Going into details like whether it’s good or bad, it’s a mixed for Indian techies. Whilst it’s going to tight the visa programme and makes it difficult, it’s boon for skilled and talented Indian techies which America & its corporate sector don’t want to lose. So in a way, it’s boon for highly talented techies, it’s bane for others who’re more passionate about American dreams and have little skills.

What US Corporate Biggies Say on H-1B Review?

Neil Bradley, senior vice-president and Chief Policy Officer of the US Chamber of Commerce, said, “Economic growth requires a skilled workforce, so it should be a priority to make sure American workers have the skills required to fill open jobs with American companies”.

* “It would be a mistake to close the door on high-skilled workers from around the world who can contribute to American businesses growth and expansion and make the U.S. more competitive around the world. The H-1B programme plays an important role in addressing this need, but it can be improved”, Bradley said.

* “We would encourage changes to the H-1B visas programme,” IBM CFO Martin Schroeter told CNBC in an interview. “The intent is to short-term high-skill kinds of visas, which is exactly how we use. It is clear that some companies have entirely built their business models around the H-1B visa programme which was not at all the intent.”

* The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) said that while the announcement reflected the administration’s desire to move towards reforms to the H-1B programme, there would be no immediate changes or impact on H-1B visas.

* “Simply put, it appears that the agencies are asked to review policies related to all visa programmes and recommend changes to root out fraud and abuse, and to propose additional reforms so that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants,” the association said in a statement.

* AILA president William A Stock said that H-1B workers helped transform state and local economies across the nation, adding that the immigration system was critical to all geographic and industry sectors, not just Silicon Valley. H-1B workers are also vital to the healthcare system, and to manufacturing and energy industries, he said.

* “Any reforms proposed by the Trump administration as a result of this Executive Order should be based on facts and data, not innuendo and anecdote, and must ensure that our immigration system, including the H-1B programme, remain a viable tool for U.S. businesses seeking to build and maintain a globally-competitive workforce”, Stock said.

* Chicago-based Envoy, previously called VisaNow, said yesterday’s signing triggers a “top-to-bottom” performance review.
* The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a leading US science and tech policy think tank, hoped that the goal of Trump’s executive order on the H-1B programme is “mend it, don’t end it”.

* Reforming the programme could help improve its effectiveness in attracting the world’s best and the brightest, it said.

* “We welcome proposals to make the programme more effective. For example, replacing the H-1B lottery with a more merit-based system could advance the programme’s goals of attracting people with advanced STEM skills. We also welcome efforts to root out abuse, better enforce the existing rules, and increase the salary requirements”, ITIF President Robert D Atkinson said.

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