Today a legislation impacting H1-B visa programme has been introduced in the US House of Representatives making it difficult for companies in the US to employ skilled foreign workers. Among other things, the bill more than doubled the minimum wage requirement of H1-B visa holders to US $130,000.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. Under the H1-B visa programme, US-based companies hire highly skilled foreign workers, up to a maximum of 85,000 a year. Of these 65,000 are hired abroad and 20,000 from among foreign nationals studying in the US.
The H-1B visa program tends to be more critical to outsourcing firms than US tech firms, according to a Reuters report. For instance, more than 60 percent 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.
The top 10 recipients of H-1B visas in 2015 were all outsourcing firms, according to government data compiled by the IEEE-USA, a professional organization representing US engineer Sixty-five percent of H-1B petitions approved in the 2014 fiscal year went to tech workers, mostly from India, according to USCIS.
Sanchit Vir Gogia and Anshoo Nandwaani of Greyhound Research said that they believe this development [H1-B visa proposal] is a significant announcement by the newly appointed Trump administration. While changes were expected under the new President, the suddenness and the order of the announcement has surely caught IT Services Providers across the globe by surprise.