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US to Unleash H-1B Visa’s Biggest Change

US Govt. has made up its mind to implement what analysts are terming as H-1B visa’s biggest ever change. US Govt has indicated that they will change the very definition of
‘employment’ and ‘specialty occupations’, under H-1B visa.

‘Employment’ and ‘Specialty occupations’ are the factors based on which an non-immigrant job visa is issued. In case these are altered, then it will negatively impact a lot of IT companies in India.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said, “This regulation…would increase the probability of the total number of petitions selected under the cap filed for H-1B beneficiaries who possess a master’s or higher degree from a US institution of higher education each fiscal year,”

As per official definition from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a “specialty occupation” is defined as “an occupation that requires (a) theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and (b) attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”

To start with, greater emphasis will be given to those candidates, who have done a Masters from a US-based college/University.

Those who have a US-based Masters Degree will have 15-20% more chance in getting an H-1B visa. Now, observe this: out of 34.7 million H-1B visa granted in the last decade, 19.07 million have been granted to those with post-graduation degrees, and 15.43 million to those, who have undergraduate degrees.

As per reports coming in, this proposed change in H-1B visa guidelines has rattled the IT industry, and pressure is mounting on Indian Govt. to intervene.

Infact, the External Affairs Ministry is already in talks with Trump Administration to resolve this issue.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why time and again, at different levels, we have taken up the matter with the US side. Most recently, it was discussed and mentioned during the two-plus-two talks,”

MEA has assured that they are in talks with the US Govt., and none of the proposed bills have passed as of now by The Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

US has also said that work permits under H-4 visa for spouses will be stopped, which can impact 70,000 Indians in the US.

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