NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: With an eye on next month’s elections, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced tightening of non-immigrant visa rules to benefit American workers.
The move is expected to impact thousands of IT professionals from India, which is one of the largest beneficiaries of H-1B visas. Already, a large number of Indians on H-1B visas have lost their jobs owing to the coronavirus pandemic that has severely hit the US economy.
H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require expertise. The new rules narrow the definition of ‘specialty occupation’, making it difficult for companies and workers to avail the H1-B visa.
Companies will also have to file additional documentation to prove that they genuinely need H-1B workers. The new rules will make it more expensive for US companies to bring in foreign workers under the H-1B visa programme as the minimum wage under H-1B is set to increase. With confusion prevailing over whether the new rules will apply to only new visas or to existing visa holders as well, the US Department of Homeland Security will release detailed guidelines next week.