An estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H1B visa holders could be sent home if the administration decides to go ahead with the proposal that aims at preventing the extension of H1B visas, predominantly used by Indian software professionals, as part of president Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative. President Donald Trump is tightening the H1B visa norms so much that Indian IT professionals may have to leave that country soon. It has raised serious concerns back in India as this can have a serious bearing on the Indian economy. While the US President Donald Trump moves to crack down on the immigration of high-tech workers to the US, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new Global Skills Strategy is taking off. In a report by Bloomberg titled, “As Trump Snubs High-Tech Visas, Trudeau’s Program Takes Off” published in December last year, it was learned that Canadian government is working on its visa issuance system to reduce the government’s target of 10 business days to process the recruit’s application. It would take around several months previously for the same process to reach conclusion. Around 2,000 workers have entered Canada under the latest program from its start on June 12 to September 30, according to government data. So, should the 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H1B visa holders on whose neck a sword is hanging expect safe haven from Canada? Already a bulk comes from India the same country that makes up the majority of US H-1B visas issued, followed by China and France, the report says. Canada has already welcomed 320,000 newcomers to Canada last year as a part of the liberal ideology that the Trudeau administration believes in.
Dramatic effect on H-1B visa holders
The proposed changes would have a dramatic effect particularly on Indian visa holders considering more than half of all H1B visas have been awarded to Indian nationals, the report said, quoting the Pew Research Center report. “This would be a major catastrophic development as many people have been waiting in line for green cards for over a decade, have US citizen children, own a home,” Leon Fresco, who served as a deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department in the Obama administration and now represents H1B workers was quoted saying by PTI. Fresco estimates more than 1 million H1-B visa holders in the country are waiting for green cards, many of whom are from India and have been waiting for more than a decade. An estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H1B visa holders could be sent home if the administration decides to go ahead with the proposal.
“The act currently allows the administration to extend the H1B visas for thousands of immigrants, predominantly Indian immigrants, beyond the allowed two three-year terms if a green card is pending,” the report said. “The idea is to create a sort of ‘self- deportation’ of hundreds of thousands of Indian tech workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans,” it said, quoting a source briefed by Homeland Security officials.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s proposed big step against H1-B visa holders, EB-5 visas have emerged as the best bet for Indian families aspiring for US green cards. Under the EB-5 Investment Visa programme, an applicant receives a conditional green card on making a minimum investment of $5,00,000 in the United States and has to create 10 jobs for US citizens, after which he gets a permanent green card.
What is H1B visa?
The H1B visa an employment-based and non-immigrant visa category for temporary workers that allows the US companies to recruit foreign workers. The US allows up to 85,000 new H1B visas each year with recipients being allowed to stay up to six years. Since demand tends to be higher, the government tops this up with an annual lottery. An estimated 70 percent of these visas go to Indians – hired mostly by IT companies.