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    Trump administration proposes to scrap computerised lottery system to select H-1B visas

    Synopsis

    Quite a few H-1B visas are allotted to employees of India-centric IT companies and a wage level-based selection could significantly increase the cost of deploying software engineers on projects in the United States, the analysts said.

    Agencies
    This new selection process would incentivise employers to offer higher wages.
    US Election
    Bengaluru: The United States’ decision to replace a lottery-based system for H-1B visas with a wage-based selection process could restrict talent movement by Indian and India-centric IT services companies, as the rule aims to rank petitions on the highest wage offered by employers, analysts said.

    In the existing system, foreign professionals and students with US college degrees compete for H-1B visas in a lottery.

    Quite a few H-1B visas are allotted to employees of India-centric IT companies and a wage level-based selection could significantly increase the cost of deploying software engineers on projects in the United States, the analysts said.

    In the last four years, successive restrictive measures by US President Donald Trump’s administration have favoured US technology companies for the work permit over Indian IT services companies.

    The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that modifying the H-1B cap selection process by replacing the random method with a wage-level-based one ‘is a better way to allocate H-1B visas when demand exceeds supply’.

    “If finalised as proposed, this new selection process would incentivise employers to offer higher wages or petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled workers instead of using the program to fill relatively lower-paid vacancies,” DHS said.

    “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 program is often exploited and abused by US employers, and their US clients, primarily seeking to hire foreign workers and pay lower wages,” said Ken Cuccinelli, acting DHS Deputy Secretary.

    Cuccinelli added that 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.

    Analysts said the rule could affect talent movement by technology services companies.

    “If this regulation is implemented, Indian companies would be able to only bring in professionals who are at wage level IV. Only the top-level employees would be able to enter the US,” said Rajiv Khanna, managing partner at Immigration.com.

    “There has to be a balance between businesses’ need to have qualified people to work and protecting the US workforce. The public perception about effectiveness and the need for the H-1B programme is highly misunderstood,” he added.

    The rule is not logical as it may not help the administration allot H-1B visas to highly skilled professionals, said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at immigration law firm LawQuest.

    “If this rule is passed, the USCIS could implement it in many ways. For example, they could use an algorithm to select petitions based on the highest wage offered and people at Level IV and III jobs would get selected just because of their salaries,” Chothani said.

    Selections based purely on salary could, however, create anomalies, she added.

    Donald Trump intends to scrap the computerised lottery system to grant H-1B work visas

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    Getting H-1B no longer a lottery

    According to a PTI report, the Donald Trump administration has proposed to scrap the computerised lottery system to grant H-1B work visas to foreign technology professionals and replace it with a wage-level-based selection process. Replacing the computerised draw of lots to decide on the successful H-1B applicants, the Department of Homeland Security said it is expected to 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.


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    13 Comments on this Story

    sandeepan pahari25 days ago
    This is a step in right direction for the USA as a nation. This will also help them weed out the garbage coming into their country where certain people misuse the H1B visa to enter the country and then suck up the low wage jobs from the locals. This law would be good for India and other countries as well where sincere and quality workforce won't have to wait for 1000 years to get the visa. So, study hard, work hard, and get entry into the states. No shortcuts any more !!!
    Rise in per capita income for USA as well !!
    Senthil Kumar25 days ago
    This will increase offshoring. Good for indian companies and not good for usa.
    Narendra Modi26 days ago
    Finally, a well needed revision to US Law to add another nail in the coffin for Indian based IT outsourcing companies exploiting cheap labour.
    When will Indians realize that foreign Countries see them as cheap coolie labor and that they should just stay in Indian as Foreign Countries don't need them....
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