US looks at bill to prevent Indian companies hiring H1B
US lawmakers introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives targeting Indian companies hiring employees on H-1B and L-1 visas. The bill states that if companies have more than 50 employees, or if over 50% workers are H-1B or L-1 visa holders, they would be barred from hiring H-1B employees. The legislation will require approvals from the Senate, before being passed as a law.
What is H1-B visa?
The H1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States set up under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
Bill to limit H-1 visas introduced
Last year, two US senators introduced a bipartisan legislation in the Senate seeking reform of H-1B visa programme. They also called for sense of urgency against the "abuse of the system". Senator Grassley said that H1B was never meant to replace qualified American workers. He said that Americans were losing their jobs to lesser skilled workers who were ready to work for lower wages.
Indian workers top visa list
A Computerworld analysis of government data showed that about 86% of the H1B visas granted for computer jobs by US went to Indians working for companies like Infosys and TCS.
US triples H-1B fees in bid to reduce outsourced workers
In a bid to assuage domestic concerns of job losses during the election year, the US government tripled the H-1B, L1 visa fees this year. The visa fees went up by $4000 for H-1B visa and $4500 for L-1A and L-1B visas from $2000. It affected large Indian IT companies who employ more than 50% employees on H-1B and L1 non-migrant status.
Why is the Act being put forth?
"America is producing many skilled, high-tech professionals with advanced degrees and no jobs. By 'in-sourcing' and exploiting foreign workers, some businesses are abusing the visa programs and undercutting our workforce to reap the rewards," US Congressman Pascrell said.
'H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016' : Aftermath
Since most Indian companies rely heavily on the H-1B and L-1 employees, the legislation, if passed, will drastically bring down their businesses. Earlier instances on H1-B visas had reported concerns on how companies were misusing the visas for their benefit. It also will bring into effect sever penalties on those firms who violate and abuse the law regarding the issue of these visas.
Bill aims to support American workers
"Without the critical reforms our bill proposes, American workers will continue to be unfairly displaced and visa workers will continue to be mistreated - both of which are unacceptable," Congressman Pascrell, one of the lawmaker who introduced the bill, said in a statement.