What is an H-1B visa?
H-1B visas are those which are required by the American companies in order to hire or employ foreign workers for specialized occupations that require expertise and support. The United states issues nearly 85,000 H-1B visas every year which are valid upto three years and later are renewable. There are nearly 6,00,000 H-1B visa holders from India and china.
Earlier the Trump administration had proposed and implemented a few regulations on issuing the H-1B visas.
Proposals made by Trump's Administration:
1. The DOL (Department of labour) proposed that the companies would be required to pay higher wages to the workers holding H-1B visas. The minimum salary for these visa holders increased for $60,000 to nearly $1,30,000.
2. Increase in the qualification standards for an employer or a company in order hire workers. Now the company could only hire foreign workers if their degree is equivalent to that of a U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree and the occupation is so specialized that it can only be performed by these workers.
Above all the denial rate of the H-1B visas increased from 6% in FY 2015 to 29% for FY 2020 , according to a National Foundation for American Policy analysis. This harmed many of the employers.
To the relief of many Indians and top IT companies, the US court has blocked two H-1B regulations proposed by the Trump administration that restricted American companies from hiring foreign workers.
US Courts Blocks Trump's Proposal:
US District Judge Jeffery White blocked the recent policies implemented by the Trump administration that required the employers to pay higher wages to the workers, and he also revoked the policy that narrowed the eligibility of the H-1B valued by the US tech companies and other employers.
As a result of the ruling, the Department of Homeland Security rule on occupations and other issues that was to come into effect from December 7, stands invalid. The Department of Labour rule on wages, which took effect on October 8, is also now no longer valid.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive problems on the nation's health, and millions of Americans have been impacted financially by restrictions imposed on businesses, large and small, during the pandemic; the consequences of those restrictions has been a fiscal calamity for many individuals, the judge wrote, "This is a major win for our economy and for our ability to recover from the worst downturn in generations, said Jim Wunderman, Bay Area Council President and CEO.
US Welcoming H-1B Workers:
"H-1B workers fill an important need in our economy and provide immense benefits not only to the companies they work for but the communities where they live. Many of the leading and fastest-growing technology companies in the Bay Area have been founded by entrepreneurs from other countries who first came here on visas, he said.
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