H1-B Visa policy

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events and/ or publicly available information. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

 

Akshay Garg, MBA 2016-18, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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The United States issues non-immigrant visas, known as H1-B to employ skilled workers from other countries for various specialised fields of occupation for a certain period of time. It was intended to import talent, due to a dearth of skilled professionals in America, and meet the void so formed. But over the years, the policy has been abused by many companies to reduce expenses, by hiring low-cost skilled workforce from outside instead of employing the local American workers.

It goes without saying that this program needs a complete overhaul and a redirection of its intended purpose. Since Donald Trump has been elected as the president of the United States of America, the H1-B visa program has been in the news due to the administration’s focus on immigration. There have been proposals in this regard including the scrapping of the H1-B lottery system, which is plagued with applications from large outsourcing firms. In order to import truly talented individuals, to fill the shortfall in the workforce, there is a need to validate that the individuals who are granted H1-B visas actually possess the skills that are needed for the job.

The Department of Labour should have an enhanced authority to review, investigate and audit employer compliance which would enable them to penalise fraudulent applications. Another long-term solution can be to raise the salary of the H1-B workers to a minimum of $1,00,000 per annum which would discourage the firms to hire from outside and employ the local workforce. This would identify the best talent to enter the U.S. while eliminating the abuse of the H-1B program.

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