Prelims level : InternationalGS-II (GSII Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.) Mains level : GS-II (GSII Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.)
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Why in News?

  • The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it has reached Congressionally- mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for the fiscal year 2020, after it started receiving the applications for the most sought-after work visa among foreign, including Indian, professionals.


What is H-1B VISA:

  • A citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.
  • Temporary worker visas are for persons who want to enter the US for employment lasting
  • a fixed period of time, and are not considered permanent or indefinite.
  • The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

Whom will it benefit?

  • There is a higher probability that advanced (U.S. masters and higher) degree holders will be selected in larger numbers than regular H1B applicants.
  • It is aimed at awarding this popular work visa to the most skilled and highest paid foreign workers. The changes could also potentially bring down the costs for sponsoring companies, by reducing the paperwork of sponsors.
  • Only those H1B sponsoring employers who get selected from the list of registered petitioners will be required to actually submit H1B petitions.
  • This applies for both regular and advance degree categories. What are the implications for India?
  • This will have a significant impact on Indians, as 74% of H1B petitions were on behalf of India-born workers in the fiscal year 2018.

The Two major H-1B beneficiary groups are:

  • Indian employees that work for the big IT majors in the US
  • Indian students who obtain a US Master’s/Ph.D. degree and then apply for H-1B visas at US-based companies
  • The proposed rules, if implemented, will dramatically tilt this competition in favour of the students. The new process could increase the number of H-1B holders who have advanced degrees by up to 16%.
  • So, the IT majors will lose heavily to a tune of over 10,000 visas each year.
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