H-1B Visa abuse complaints echo all across America. 60 Minutes recently did a lead story on its popular news program profiling the horror story of experienced American IT workers losing their jobs to young H-1B visa holders. These visa holders all come from India and arise from contractual relationships for IT staffing that employers make with companies like InfoSys, Tata consulting, and other similar companies.
The Trump Administration already has a draft executive order regarding work visas, read it here. The order never became a reality, at least not yet. Perhaps the Trump administration is waiting until after the flood of H-1B visa applications before issuing the executive order. All the H-1B visa applications for private employers begin arriving at USCIS after April 3rd. By Friday April 7th, over 230,000 H-1B applications will compete for only 85,000 visas. Historically, a lottery decides at random who gets the visas.
H-1B Visa Abuse comes from gaming the lottery
The problem with the visa lottery is that about 60 percent of the applications come from those eight Indian IT staffing firms. As a result, those eight companies get 60 percent of the H-1b visas. Then American employers hire these low paid visa holders and fire their experienced IT staff. The Trump administration’s draft executive order does not exactly state what will be done to fix this issue. It provides:
consider ways to make the process for allocating H-1B visas more efficient
and ensure that beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest
Trump suspended premium processing, which shortened the time period to award the H-1B visa from two weeks to the current processing time of over six months!! Perhaps once all the H-1B visa applications arrive, Trump will announce his administration is suspending the lottery. The administration can then handpick what applications are approved, and which are denied.
We at Work Visas paid close attention to the USCIS announcement suspending premium processing. USCIS specifically stated that expedited processing will continue. As a result, we are hard at work crafting methods to make our H-1b visa applications truly “America First.” We concentrate on American educated STEM grads. We believe that if the students have been educated and trained in America, they are the best candidates to stay in America to return their skills back to the country that educated them.
By keeping these great minds in America, it can maintain its competitive edge in technological innovation. By doing away with the lottery H-1B Visa abuse will become a thing of the past.
On a visit to India, Congressman Bob GoodLatte heads a delegation of eight US representatives regarding the ongoing concerns of H1-B visa holders. Indian IT companies fret the new Trump administration shaking up their industry.
After the meeting with IT minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rep. GoodLatte said that President Donald Trump will address the immigration policy soon. Rep. GoodLatte, the chairman of house judiciary committee, plays an important role in drawing policies around immigration and intellectual property.
Changes to the H-1B Visa program have huge implications on the Indian IT companies. America accounts for 65% of $155 billion Indian IT revenue. Any new regulatory changes confront stark economic realities.
US and India enjoy a good relationship historically. India and US compliments and supplements each other in several areas especially with Indian talent adding value to US firms and the biggest examples are Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai.
Literally tens of thousands of bright Indians work in the US and become Americans and create new jobs as well. Nearly 75% of all Fortune-500 companies are serviced by Indian IT firms, and that some of the top IT firms doing business in India, are of American origin, such as Cisco, Google and Amazon.
Business thrives in environments with transparency and certainty. The suspense that the Trump Administration hangs over the H-1B visa program does not help at all. Currently, Indian IT firms suck up over 60% of the H-1B visas subject to the cap that private employers face. Most cap exempt employers hire scientists for education, research and medicine.
Indian IT sector, contributes 9.3% to the country’s GDP, and employs of 3.7 million people. The uncertainty has led to drop in value, and fall in employment. Stocks like InfoSys are nearly at a 52-week low.
The US has introduced the Lofgren Bill, which proposes the minimum wages being doubled to $130,000. The current H1-B minimum wage of $60,000 has not changed since 1989.
However, most H1-B visa holders earn an average of $100,000, according to consultancy firm, Greyhound Research — but only because most H-1B visas held outside of Indian IT firms pay over $100,000.
India may fear a new regulation that dents the stranglehold that a handful of companies have over the H-1B visa. The employers still need top tech talent. If the Indian IT firms have to pay more, it can open up more H-1B visas for American firms that need those specialty skills.
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As Disney says, it’s a small, small world. It turns out that after the entertainment and media giant replaced some of its IT staff with contract workers from India. Tata Consulting, Wipro, and a handful of other IT consulting companies comprise about half of all H-1B applications entered into the lottery each year. They are the companies causing headlines about Americans losing their jobs and the uproar over immigration reform (more like restriction).
Disney is being sued for discriminating against against Americans “based solely on their national origin and race, and replacing them with Indian nationals.”
In mid-December, 30 former IT employees let go from Disney World in early 2015 filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and now in the U.S. District Court in Orlando. The complaint alleges that Disney discriminated against them based on their nation of origin and race.
Disney often tells fairy tales, but now it’s in one
The tale against H-1B Visa holders has been unfolding for some time. In 2014, former Harley-Davidson IT employees filed a federal class action lawsuit alleging the motorcycle company discriminated against American workers by replacing them with H-1B employees from South Asia, according to USA Today. That suit is still pending.
These lawsuits may be nothing more than a fairy tale because so far no H-1B-related suits based on nation of origin or race have been successful. Typically, lawsuits regarding discrimination based solely on national origin or race are filed by minorities. There is no reason why the tables cannot be turned and have non-minority workers facing the same discrimination against them.
The trend is not going away, more H-1B visa holders will face more hostility as technology continues to automate jobs currently held by humans. The practices of certain IT staffing firms may be curtailed, but businesses often buy from cheaper vendors. If Disney believed that it would receive better IT services for a cheaper price, they have a duty to their shareholders to maximize value.
Help maximize your value by setting up your Work Visas Account now. We use the data to complete your H-1B application and assist in managing its status throughout the course of your visa.
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India and the United States are set to meet on August 30, 2016, to discuss proposed changes to visa fees charged for the H-1B visa application. India comprises roughly 67% of H-1B visas and 28% of L-1 visas. Effective February 2016, certain H-1b application fees increased to $4,500. L-1 petitions fees increased to $4,500 as well for H-1b dependent employers.
Some H-1 and L-1 Visas cost $4,500 in application fees alone.
The fee increases hurt Indian tech companies expanding into America the most as they are the most likely to be H-1B dependent and require L-1 visas for their American expansion. As a result, India is preparing at challenge to the fee hike at the World Trade Organization.
The visa application fee hike is estimated to cost the Indian IT industry $400 million dollars each year.
If the rate hike does not evidence growing protectionism in the United States, then Congressional action taken to prevent Indian companies from hiring IT professionals on H-1B and L1 visas certainly does. The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016 would prohibit companies from hiring H-1B employees if they are defined as H-1B Dependent. Interestingly, the two sponsors of the proposed law come from the two states in America that have the highest concentration of Indian Americans.
We at Work Visa Solutions oppose the fee hike and question the motives of the sponsors of the Bill. If America is going to reflect the diversity of the world, far more of its citizens should have Indian ancestry.