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April 21, 2021
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Big blow to Indian techies as Trump rejigs H-1B visas rules amid job losses

H1B visas

In a bid to safeguard American workers, the Trump administration on Tuesday declared new norms for H-1B visas governing foreign skilled workers further tightening wage-based entry barriers. Just days before the US Presidential elections early next month, Trump swiftly made this major change to the visa rules citing the job losses of Americans to the tune of 500,000 plus due “H-1B non-immigrants”.

These new wage rules for skilled workers in the U.S. will take effect from today. The Department of Homeland Security’s H-1B revisions will hit home in 60 days.

Since India and China are two nations that apply for H-IB visas, they are going to be worst-affected nations. U.S. government data shows that India has an uptick of 70% most years.

Under the new rules people won’t be given H-1B visas. One-third of the people who have applied for H-1B visas would be rejected under the new rules according to Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli.

An excerpt from the DoL interim final rule reads: “Under the existing wage levels, artificially low prevailing wages provide an opportunity for employers to hire and retain foreign workers at wages well below what their US counterparts – meaning US workers in the same labor market, performing similar jobs, and possessing similar levels of education, experience, and responsibility – make, creating an incentive – entirely at odds with the statutory scheme – to prefer foreign workers to US workers, and causing downward pressure on the wages of the domestic workforce,”

It is a ploy by President Trump and business as usual for foreign workers as the President brings out new rules. Trump’s poll numbers are tanking with less than 30 days to go before the US election. The COVID-19 situation is also playing havoc in his campaign.

Many H-1B workers have seen this move coming before. It’s Trump’s all-base, all the time anthem to fire up his most vocal supporters, they feel.

“When seeking to employ an H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 visa, US employers must attest that they will pay non-immigrant workers, during the period of authorized employment, the higher of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees with similar experience and qualifications,” US Department of Labor announced.

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