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Q. H-1 B visa issue: Discuss the USA governments proposed draft of tightening H-1B visa norms.
Feb 06, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

The new government of USA headed by President Donald Trump have drafted a new executive order aimed at overhauling the H-1B work-visa program that technology companies have long relied on to bring top foreign engineering talent to their US based locations.

What is H-1 B visa-?

The H1B visa is an employment-based, non-immigrant visa category for temporary worker, who intend to work in USA. For such a visa, an employer must offer a job and apply for your H1B visa petition with the US Immigration Department. Once approved, an employee will be allowed to work in USA for that employer for a specific period. 

How it will impact to Indian companies and employee-?

  • According to Reuters report, the H-1B visa program tends to be more critical to outsourcing firms than US tech firms. India, the largest exporter of IT workforce to the USA, hence it will affect Indian people working in USA on H-1B visa.
  • The country's biggest IT companies, TCS, Infosys, Wipro and others, that enjoy significant cost advantages by sending Indian engineers to the USA, will be affected if USA tightens H-1B visa norms.
  • For instance, more than 60% of the US employees of Infosys are H-1B holders, and the company in its annual report has cited an increase in visa costs as among factors that could hurt its profitability. 

What India should do-?

  • India should work out with USA to create a new variety of temporary work visa that reduces the scope for abuse and offers a clear path towards legal residency, if only as a favour to the Indian workers involved. India IT firms should support such move.
  • Similarly as a larger solution, India government should work on to entice more highly-skilled Indians to give up on their American dream and return home. 
  • For that India should create a more convivial business environment. Hence Indians in USA can be attracted by creating an eco-system to flourish.


Conclusion-

The US governments proposed draft to tighten H-1B norms have larger impact on Indian companies and workers operating from US. As most of the Indian companies employed Indian workforce tightening visa norms may face issues. Hence as short term measures Indian should deal with USA government and as long term measure Indian should create an eco-system to attract those Indians who employed in USA.  


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