Trump Withdraws Higher H-1B Salary Rule, Won’t Change Definition Of H-1B Jobs

Trump Withdraws Higher H-1B Salary Rule, Won't Change Definition Of H-1B Jobs
Trump Withdraws Higher H-1B Salary Rule, Won’t Change Definition Of H-1B Jobs

On Thursday, a US federal judge stopped the US government from enforcing the ban on the entry of H-1B visa workers in the US till December 31, 2020.

After this development, the Trump administration, on September 30, has withdrawn two proposed changes which would have made life tough for H-1B visa workers and other foreign workers in the US.

This is speculated to be a piece of bad news and let’s find out why…

What Were The Changes In Regulations Proposed By The US Govt?

The proposed regulatory changes included-

  1. Increasing the wages highly skilled workers in the US including H-1B visa workers by the Department of Labor (DOL) and
  2. Strengthening the H-1B non-immigrant visa rules by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

These changes were basically aimed to drive the companies to hire local talent. By doing the changes, the companies would find it tough to hire highly-skilled H-1B workers by increasing their salaries and restricting their entry into the States. 

The rules also aimed to make the visa application and acceptance process strict.

The experts with a know in the space highlighted that since 2017 when the Trump administration came in, the localization has increased. Currently, in the US, the Indian IT firms’ localization is over 60%. Infosys has 13,000 US hires whereas TCS has 20,000.

The point to be noted is that these rules were at the interim final stage and were submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 

If they had been approved, they would have come into effect immediately. The brunt of this policy would have been felt by the Indian nationals first as a lot of tech firms in the US employ a significant H-1B workforce.

Why Is This Bad News?

“DHS is using a special waiver of a review step to speed up the rollout,” said Greg Siskind, an immigration attorney.

In other words, the rules could come into effect much earlier than before, as early as before the US elections on November 3. 

The OMB had 90 days to review the regulations.

Indian H-1B workers in the US make up for a total of 1.3 lakh as of the end of FY19. Out of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued every year, Indian nationals comprise a massive portion of this figure. 

Apart from H-1B visa holders, the DOL has also included H-1B1 and E-3 work visas for restructuring the wage structure.

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