Big Blow For Infosys, TCS, Wipro As US May Ban Temporary Business Visa For Short-Term Visits (B-1)
As we all know that the Trump Administration is working hard in keeping the ban on H1-B Visa issue, but their new move will give a hard blow to hundreds of Indians, particularly in the tech industry.
Ban On Temporary Business Visas
Till now, this was useful for the companies as they could send their technology professionals for a short stay to complete jobs on site in the US.
While giving the reason behind this decision, the state department said that officials said it was necessary to protect American jobs amid mass unemployment triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposal is yet to be finalized.
How Would This Affect?
After finalization, this proposal will eliminate any misconception that the “B-1 in lieu of H policy” provides an alternative avenue for foreign professionals to enter the US for skilled labour that allows.
According to the State Department, this will also remove any potential to even encourage them and their employers, to circumvent the restrictions and requirements relating to the “H” non-immigrant classification established by the Congress to protect US workers.
On Wednesday, this announcement was made public which is less than two weeks ahead of the November 3 presidential election.
Prior to this, In December 2019, Infosys Ltd had to pay $800,000, to resolve allegations that approximately 500 Infosys employees worked in the state on company-sponsored B-1 visas rather than H-1B visas.
While giving clarification on the subject, the State Department said, “The proposed changes and the resulting transparency would reduce the impact of foreign labour on the US workforce of aliens performing activities in a speciality occupation without the procedural protections attendant to the H-1B classification,”.
What Does The Expert Say?
This move is likely to face criticism from trade groups like the US Chamber of Commerce.
According to them, the H-1B program is required because of a shortage of skilled American workers.
In the case of India, more than two-thirds of H-1B visa holders come from the country.
On top of that, they are disproportionately employed by tech firms, as per the government statistics.
The new rule was largely designed to deny visas to third-party contractors who provide workers to US companies according to the acting director of Homeland Security, Kenneth Cuccinelli.
“The contractors exploit loopholes in existing regulations allowing them to pay H-1B holders far less than their American counterparts”, he said.
Further he added, “Companies have been incentivized to avoid hiring Americans or even lay off their own qualified, better-paid American workers and replace them with cheaper foreign labor,”.