US may suspend H-1B visas: Report

Donald Trump may suspend H-1B visas, according to a report. Decision likely to affect thousands of Indian IT professionals. Read more....
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United States President Donald Trump is considering suspending a series of employment visas, including H-1B, the most sought after among IT professionals in India, in light of mass unemployment in the United States due to the pandemic of coronavirus, according to a media report.

The proposed suspension could extend to the government’s new fiscal year starting October 1, when many new visas are issued, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, quoting unidentified administration officials.

“That could bar any new H-1B holder outside the country from coming to work until the suspension is lifted, though visa holders already in the country are unlikely to be affected,” the daily reported.

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

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The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

Such a decision by the Trump administration is likely to have an adverse impact on thousands of Indian IT professionals. Already a large number of Indians on the H-1B visas have lost their jobs and are headed back home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The administration is currently evaluating a wide range of options, formulated by career experts, to protect American workers and job seekers especially disadvantaged and underserved citizens – but no decisions of any kind have been made,” said Hogan Gidley, White House spokesman, in a statement.

In addition to the H-1B visas, the suspension could apply to the H-2B visa for short-term temporary workers, the J-1 visa for short-term workers, including camp counselors and au pairs, and the L-1 visa for internal company transfers, the financial newspaper reported.

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Meanwhile, the CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donohue, wrote a letter to Trump on Thursday, expressing concern over his reported move on temporary work visas.

“As the economy rebounds, American businesses will need assurances that they can meet all their workforce needs. To that end, it is crucial that they have access to talent both domestically and from around the world,” Donohue wrote in a letter to Trump.

Donohue said that American businesses need L-1 visa holders, who have a work visa valid for a relatively short amount of time, for necessary expertise, as mentioned in The Hill newspaper.

He noted the importance of H-1B visa holders, who have a multi-year valid work visa, for various industries, including technology, accounting and manufacturers, the newspaper said. “Policies that would, for example, impose wide-ranging bans on the entry of nonimmigrant workers or impose burdensome new regulatory requirements on businesses that employ foreign nationals would undermine that access to talent and in the process, undercut our economy’s ability to grow and create jobs,” Donohue added. LKJ CPS

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(Source – ET)


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