H-1B visa allocation: IT industry body Nasscom has said that it will be filing comments in support of the delay in implementation of Trump-era rule on H-1B visa allocation policy which, if implemented, could have hurt the interests of the Indian workforce and Indian IT companies.
The newly-elected Joe Biden administration has postponed the date of implementation of the proposed H-1B visa policy until December 31, giving the US immigration agency more time to develop, test and implement modifications to the registration system.
The industry body said in a statement: “Nasscom welcomes this announcement by DHS including undertaking a detailed review of the rule. Rather than follow the clear language and intent of the statute, the agency had sought to move from the existing selection process for H-1B visas.”
Nasscom stated that giving priority based on wage levels could potentially “significantly damage” some of the most innovative companies in the world along with many hospitals and health care providers, research facilities, universities and other petitioners.
“We believe it is important for the US to be able to access talent critical to the COVID recovery phase,” it added.
What are the changes proposed in the H-1B visa allocation rule?
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had announced in January that it would do away with the traditional H-1B lottery system which was relied upon to decide the successful applicants for H-1B visas to the United States of America.
As per the proposed rule, which was to “protect the economic interests of American workers”, the USCIS had said that it would prioritise wages in order to ensure that the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment programme. The changed Trump-era H1B visa rule was scheduled to go into effect on March 9. During the delay, DHS will review the H1B visa rule as a whole for potential changes or rescinding it.
What is H-1B visa?
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa to the United States of America which allows US companies to employ skilled foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The American technology companies depend on the H1B visa to hire thousands of engineers, Chartered Accountants, and other specialty workforce every year from countries like India and China.
How many H-1B visas are issued every year?
The USCIS can issue a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas in a year. It can also issue another 20,000 H-1B visas to foreign students who have completed higher studies from a US university in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
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