While TCS, Infosys Face H1-B Visa Probe, New Rules May Allow Indian Students To Work For 6yrs Without H1-B Visa
Indians who have either reached United States of America or wish to reach soon received two contradictory news, which can have major implications on their overseas plans in near future.
On one hand, there is good news for students, as they have now have an extended stay after their course finished. On the other hand, there is some bad news for Indian companies and H1B visa holders, as US Govt. will probe H1B visa irregularities reported at Infosys and TCS.
Indian Students in US: Rejoice
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services permits Optimal Training Period or OPT of 12 months for those students who are studying in the USA under F1 visa for more than 9 months. This, after their course ends, these students can extend their stay by 12 months in order to work in the USA, and get practical training of their education.
In case of students who are pursuing education in STEM streams (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are eligible for 24 months stay under OPT.
Now, U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed that this period of OPT be extended to 6 years; which means that both STEM and non-STEM students can work and live in the USA much longer.
Although this proposal hasn’t been legally approved by the US Govt., but speculations are rife that it won’t be opposed, considering acute skill shortage which US is facing right now.
H1B Visa Holders: Be Alert
Meanwhile, there is some bad news for corporate entities and H1B visa holders who wish to work in the USA because US Govt. has announced that they will probe all cases pertaining to H1B visa irregularities filed against two of the India’s biggest IT firms: Infosys and TCS.
Earlier this month, New York Times, an influential publication in USA reported that hundreds of Walt Disney employees in USA were fired; but before they leave, they are supposed to train low cost immigrant workers from India having H1B visas. This news triggered a public outcry against immigrant workers, especially from India as they were seen as snatching US jobs from US citizens.
Infact, similar case of termination was reported from Southern California Edison power company as well, which has outsourced their major tasks to Infosys and TCS. Reports emerged that employees are given pink slips, but before that, they were forced to train their replacements who have H1B visa. Although not clear, but these replacement employees were most probably Indians from TCS and Infosys.
These cases, when clubbed with racism allegations by American citizen against TCS and Visa Fraud cases against Infosys, has snowballed into major controversy, which US Govt. can not ignore for long.
After all, it’s a case of jobs being snatched away from locals and handing over to low cost foreign workers.
Both TCS and Infosys has denied these reports of probe initiated by the US Govt., and has assured anything they do is governed by the laws and regulations. NASSCOM has also come out heavily against US Labor Department, as they have stated that US Govt. is working without ‘facts and logic’.
Out of $140 billion IT services market which India commands right now, around $100 billion results from outsourcing contracts from USA. The outcome of this probe will certainly have high impact on the business.
We will update you as more details come in.