H1B Visas For FY2021 Will Be Cancelled? US Group Asks Govt To Suspend H1B, But Why?
Amidst the COVID-19 virus outbreak, a US-based anti-immigration technology workers group has asked for the H1-B visa program to be suspended due to growing joblessness.
What Does Us Tech Workers Say?
Basically, US Tech Workers is a non-profit organization that advocates more local hiring and has written to US President Donald Trump saying unemployment claims had gone up to 3 million in the previous week, with projections showing that this could rise further by 30 percent.
“We urge you to pause the H-1B visa program that would bring in 85,000 workers this year and suspend the recently approved addition of additional 35,000 workers for the H-2B visa,” they wrote.
Where the H-1B visa is primarily used to bring in highly skilled workers to the US, the H-2B visa is used mainly for farmworkers, primarily from Latin America.
What Does IT Industry Association Nasscom Say?
So far, the IT industry association Nasscom declined to comment on US Tech Workers’ stance on H1-B visas, although it pointed out that the H-1B visas “fulfill an acknowledged critical skills gap for all global companies in the US market….”.
Further, Nasscom has also requested the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for a 90-day grace period for tech professionals to leave the United States following the expiry of their visas, it said.
Currently, the limit is 60 days. Citing the rising number of layoffs and economic uncertainty in the country, other organizations representing tech workers have asked for it to be extended to 180 days.
Moreover, Indians have been the biggest beneficiaries of this program, receiving about 70 percent of the visas issued annually.
Although, the share of visas allocated to Indian and US services companies has dropped significantly, in the last few years.
Which is much higher rejection rates compared to American product firms.
In the letter, US Tech Workers said “With the historical displacement of workers, compounded by the current crisis, it is very concerning that the Department of Homeland Security is working to accelerate the delivery of H-1B and H2-B workers to the United States. We ask that you stand up for the productive class of this country and protect the interest of American workers,”.
How Will This Affect?
Basically, the H-1B visa gives tens and thousands of Asian tech workers, mainly from India and China, the opportunity to work in the United States.
According to the reports, Indian tech workers, who are a worldwide phenomenon, are one of the most benefited groups from the program.
Further, the experts have predicted a global recession because of coronavirus lockdown, that will affect most countries, including the United States.
By the end of April, the US Department of Labour will be looking at 50 to 60 million unemployed Americans, as per the reports.
So, the letter pointed out that last Thursday the United States recorded its highest unemployment rate in history after claims reached approximately three million, crossing the previous record of nearly 7,00,000 in October 1982.