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H-1B visa: Triple punch to Indian IT's American dreams

  • The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act would end abuses and protect American and foreign workers from exploitation
  • The End Outsourcing Act will seek to stop companies from enjoying tax incentives if they outsource
H1B visa Triple punch to Indian IT American dreams
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Three private bills have been introduced in the US House of Representatives with regard to America’s visa and immigration process. As of now India is waiting and watching, only when these Bills become an executive order will the worry lines deepen.


The Indian IT industry is just trying to come to terms with the management under new US President Donald Trump. Recently, Trump has made a lot of controversial decisions and one of them chiefly affecting India is the changes to the H-1B visa process. As of January 31, a legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives which among other things, calls for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to $130,000, making it difficult for firms to use the programme to replace American employees with foreign workers.


Also read: Rs 33,000 crore down: India's 'cheap' IT sector set to crash


Now, reports have it that Republican Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Democrat Richard Durbin (Illinois) have re-introduced a bill from previous years, called the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, that they say will bump up enforcement mechanisms and modify wage requirements in service of both American workers and visa holders.


 “Reforming the H-1B and L-1 visa programs is a critical component of fixing our broken immigration system and must be included in comprehensive immigration reform legislation. For years, foreign outsourcing companies have used loopholes in the laws to displace qualified American workers and facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs.  The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act would end these abuses and protect American and foreign workers from exploitation.  I thank Senator Grassley for partnering with me on this important bipartisan legislation,” Durbin said in a statement.It would prevent companies with more than 50 employees, of which at least half are H1B or L1 holders, from hiring additional H-1B employees.


Also read: H-1B Visa: How the crackdown will affect Indian techies and students


Another order in the making has been readied by the U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly , with the support of Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with the introduction of the End Outsourcing Act.


These are the 3 key takeaways from this legislation

  • Federal contracts, funded by taxpayers, should go to companies that employ American workers.


  • Companies that outsource jobs to foreign countries should not be able to claim tax breaks and incentives.


  • Businesses must invest in American communities and those who do will earn tax incentives for bringing back jobs to rural and impoverished communities in the United States.


These two Bills if passed would be like a sucker punch to the Indian IT industry trying to deal with Trump’s protectionist policies. Most professionals are either trying to secure a job and a ticket back home and the ones who had charted out extensive student or work life plans, taken loans in this regard etc are now left to pick up the pieces of shattered dreams. Everyone knew that this was in the pipeline but Trump’s attitude and the current environment in America, coupled by the helplessness of the Indian government are not making matters any better.



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