Sentiments are going high in Indian tech groups after the Trump administration changed the H1-B visa guidelines, making it hard for international computer graduates to work in the United States
The United States simply revised its H1B visa system over the weekend, and this is expected to affect entry-level IT workers the hardest. Nearly forty percent of the IT workers who apply for tech positions fall below the entry-level category.
Many who had entered the United States on an H1B visa through IT consultancies & offshoring firms are seeing that visa renewals are becoming longer. New H1B applications are pending with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services for months, beginning to worry among candidates & their families.
Online forums covering social media have grown an outlet for anxious & anonymous H1B aspirants to vent between uncertainty over the destiny of their professions.
Some workers whose visa renewals have been newly denied by employers are urging their firms to fire them so that they can stay in the United States for a grace period of sixty days & find a different possible sponsor.
“I am employed on an H1B by an Indian IT services company and currently here in the USA,” says a perplexed H1B aspirant on a social forum. “Unfortunately, my project is getting cancelled due to budget issues. A grace period is only applicable only if the employer terminates me.”
Employers are now required to make hurried designation changes or promote their current H1B holders to prove to government agencies that they are not displacing local citizens with low-cost foreign labor.
Worrying visa cancellation or being denied re-entry, many Indian techies in the United States are unable to return back home to address to important family requirements.
Workers on H1B who are unwell or are on maternity leave are also a concerned lot.
“I am on H1B and live in California. Due to maternity health issues, I was hospitalized in October 2016 and the California government helped me with state disability insurance,” told an H1B worker on social media. She is concerned about her visa not being renewed since she has been off the payrolls for several months.
For those whose H1B renewal applications have been denied, there is also anxiety about their spouses who are in the nation on an H4 dependent visa.
Few are opting to become students again just to stay in the United States. This comes even as news appear that the (DHS) Department of Homeland Security is actively reviewing the guidelines to permit people on an H4 visa to work in the United States as they compete with United States workers for jobs.
A court case has also been filed with the (DHS) Department of Homeland Security by several associations on admitting H4 holders to work in the United States.
Indeed as the anxiety between H1B aspirants continues, several voices from within the United States have reached out in support of the move by Donald Trump administration, calling it as a way to protect American IT jobs.
“The upshot is that (now) a computer programming position is not automatically a specialty occupation,” Ron Hira, an associate professor at Washington DC’s Howard University, said Bloomberg.
Silicon Valley firms have not yet published a statement concerning the new amendments.
Still, companies such as Google have told their international workers in the United States in latest few months to review their visa status earlier leaving the nation as they might not be permitted entry on return.
Indian IT Industry managers have advised their offshoring project managers to hire local talent from American colleges rather than opting for international workers on H1B to support local operations in the United States.
Nearly 120,000 H1B holders are expected to be present in the United States and with their H4 partners, the entire active workforce is assumed to be higher.