H-1B visa reform bill introduced in US: The Trump effect

31 Jan 2017 | Written by Vaneet Randhawa; Edited by Abheet Sethi

The US House of Representatives introduced a legislation decreeing that the "minimum salary of H-1B visa holders be doubled to $130,000."

The legislation proposes a market-based resolution that gives preference to companies "willing to pay the most".

This assures American employers have way to the skill they require while eliminating grounds for companies to undermine American salaries and outsource jobs.

In context: US passes H-1B legislation targeting India's Achilles heel

31 Jan 2017H-1B visa reform bill introduced in US: The Trump effect

1989 wage bracket gets doubled

The proposed raise in salary level of over $130,000 is approximately double the present H-1B minimum salary of $60,000, established in 1989 and not changed since then.
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The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017

31 Jan 2017The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017

The legislation also aims at eliminating the 'lowest pay' category and removing the 'per country' cap for employment-based immigrant visas.

The legislation keeps aside 20% of the yearly earmarked H-1B visas for small and start-up employers.

Under the new legislation, the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security can examine fraud and abuse and also strengthen penalties for violating companies.

Silver lining to the H-1B cloud

The legislation also removes visa obstacles for temporary visa holders and students by building a bridge from F-1 student status to Lawful Permanent Residence. It also lessens paperwork pressure by streamlining H-1B filing requirements and lowering administrative costs.

04 Mar 2017US to suspend H-1B premium processing, bad for Indian IT

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is temporarily suspending premium processing for all H-1B visas from April 3 onwards for up to six months.

Under premium processing, a company sponsoring a potential or current employee for H-1B visas could expedite the processing time by paying $1,225.

The USCIS would then respond in 15 days instead of the standard three to six months.

20 Mar 2017Fresh H-1B applications to be accepted from 3 April

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services stated that they would accept fresh applications for the H-1B visa for 2018 from April 3. However, they did not specify for how long they would continue accepting the applications.

Usually the applications are accepted for the first five working days.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is reportedly filing executive orders regarding the H-1B visas.

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24 Mar 2017H-1B visa curbs: Government says IT Industry need not worry

On Thursday, the Centre said there is no reason to be concerned about the H-1B visa regulations or the job security of Indian IT professionals as the government is currently in talks with the Trump administration about the same.

According to EAM Sushma Swaraj, India was engaging with USA at the highest level to protect the interests of Indian people or the IT industry.

28 Mar 2017H-1B visas: Proposed US legislation will "hurt" Indian IT firms

Senior Republican lawmaker Darrell Issa said his proposed bill on massive salary hikes for those employed under US' H-1B visas will hurt Indian IT firms in the US, and other organizations following similar structures.

He denied intentionally targeting Indian firms, adding they will have to "up their game".

The bill has been backed by President Donald Trump, Issa confirmed.

30 Mar 2017Court dismisses challenge to H-1B lottery system

A federal judge in Oregon dismissed a petition that sought to challenge the lottery system that determines successful applicants for H-1B visas.

Authorities said "Congress left to the discretion of the USCIS how to handle simultaneous submissions," hence there will be no change in procedure for 2018 H-1B applicants.

The petitioners argued that a "better system" for determining applicants should be developed.