Big Tech raps shift­ing of goal­posts to block H-1Bs

The New Indian Express - - CHENNAI -

BIG tech com­pa­nies in the US have pushed back against a dra­matic jump in the block­ing of H-1B visa ap­pli­ca­tions, ac­cus­ing the im­mi­gra­tion agency of act­ing out­side of its own reg­u­la­tions.

Flagged by Com­pete Amer­ica, a pres­sure group of com­pa­nies like Ama­zon, Microsoft, Google, Face­book, IBM, Wal­mart, Ac­cen­ture and Deloitte, its Novem­ber 1 let­ter said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s crackdown was wreak­ing havoc on the em­ploy­ers. The H1B visa al­lows US com­pa­nies to em­ploy for­eign work­ers in spe­cial­ity oc­cu­pa­tions that re­quire the­o­ret­i­cal or tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise. The let­ter to the Sec­re­tary of Home­land Se­cu­rity Kirst­jen Nielsen and Di­rec­tor of the United States Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vices Fran­cis Cissna says the agency ap­pears to have changed the yard­stick on three counts with­out an­nounc­ing or ex­plain­ing them.

Also, the changes are not part of the reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing a H-1B spe­cialty oc­cu­pa­tion that have been in ef­fect since 1991, the let­ter said. The goal­post changes in­clude of­fer­ing an en­try-level job at a cor­re­spond­ing wage level can­not be treated as a spe­cial­ity oc­cu­pa­tion.

THE Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has as­sured law­mak­ers and the Amer­i­can cor­po­rate sec­tor that the pub­lic would get an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to its pro­posal of re­vok­ing work au­tho­ri­sa­tion to H-4 spouse visas af­ter they raised their con­cerns over the move, which will im­pact thou­sands of In­di­ans.

H-4 visas are is­sued to the spouses of H-1B for­eign work­ers. The H-1B visa is a non-im­mi­grant visa through which many In­di­ans work­ers are em­ployed in US com­pa­nies. It al­lows the US com­pa­nies to em­ploy for­eign work­ers in spe­cial­ity oc­cu­pa­tions that re­quire the­o­ret­i­cal or tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise. It is the most soughtafter visa among In­dian IT pro­fes­sion­als.

H-4 visas are is­sued only to very close or im­me­di­ate fam­ily mem­bers of the H-1B visa hold­ers. It in­cludes the em­ployee’s spouse and chil­dren less than 21 years of age.

The De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity (DHS) had said that the US Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vices (USCIS) will come out with a new pro­posal by Jan­uary 2019 un­der which it is mulling to re­move from its reg­u­la­tions cer­tain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-im­mi­grants as a class of aliens el­i­gi­ble for em­ploy­ment au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

The new rules could im­pact up to 70,000 H-4 Visa hold­ers who have work per­mits.

USCIS has re­cently writ­ten a near iden­ti­cal let­ters to top US law­mak­ers and lead­ers of the cor­po­rate sec­tor who had raised con­cern over the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pro­posal to re­voke the H-4 visas.

“The pub­lic will be given an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide feed­back dur­ing a no­tice and com­ment pe­riod on any pro­posed re­vi­sions to reg­u­la­tions pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment au­tho­ri­sa­tion to cer­tain H-4 non-im­mi­grants,” L Fran­cis Cissna, USCIS di­rec­tor, wrote to sen­a­tors Ka­mala Har­ris and Kirsten Gil­li­brand.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.