US President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation to suspend issuing of H-1B visas, which is popular among Indian IT professionals, along with other foreign work visas for the rest of the year. US tech giants like Google and Apple are likely to get hit the most due to this move.
Trump said the step was essential to help millions of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the current economic crisis. The decision, which is being described as part of an ‘America-first recovery’ effort, would free up as many as 5,00,000 jobs for American workers.
H1B visas are considered 'work visas' and are allotted to the companies and employers based in the US to hire graduate-level workers for a temporary time period in speciality occupations such as IT, finance, science, engineering and etc.
Google, Apple, Microsoft may get hardest hit
According to experts cited in an ET report, US tech companies will bear the brunt of Trump's plan to suspend H-1B visa given the fact that H-1B visa is one of the most widely used employment visas by US-bound Indian techies. A majority of these visas are used by global tech majors as well as Indian IT companies such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro to deploy engineers from India to the US.
More than 70% of H1-B or work visas tend to go to Indians either hired by American companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft or Indian companies with US operations such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro.
The US issues 85,000 H1-B visas every year -- 65,000 to foreign workers hired from abroad and 20,000 to foreigners enrolled in US institutions of advanced learning.
As per USCIS, Indians are the largest beneficiaries of H-1B visas, receiving about two-thirds of the 85,000 new visas issued each year. The plan also includes ending Obama-era work authorization for spouses of H-1B visa holders cleared for Green Cards, which would impact mostly Indians.
The suspension will extend into the new fiscal year that starts on October 1 and will likely impact new H-1B workers who typically apply then.
Indian companies to be hit as well:
Immigration lawyer Chothani further told the publication that Indian companies will also be hit if there is a ban on the work permits for high tech workers. “It would have a devastating impact on many Indian IT companies if President Trump were to suspend the H-1B and L-1 programs entirely and disallow new visas or extensions and/or revoke existing visas. The impact could be more than directly proportionate to the duration of the suspension - because it is not just a ban on the individuals but what it means to business for ongoing and new client projects, end-client commitments, etc.,” said Chothani.