Will my H-1B salary increase if there is a program reform

H1B self deportation
H1B self deportation

Are you wondering if your H-1B salary will increase? 

If there is, one issue the current administration, liberal activists and immigration hawks all agree upon, it is a bill scaling back the H-1B program. Over the past few weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the H-1B program is a clear priority for the administration.

H-1B salary

H-1B salary

Read more H-1B related articles here. 

Currently, four different H-1B program bills are pending with the congress. Republicans, federations and activists have long called for limiting the visa program. Even the high-tech industry, which uses the program vouched for a change. (However, wants an update not scale back. They also agree that a crackdown on employers who abuse the program is essential)

An important argument against the program is prevailing wage. “Will my salary increase” is the biggest question that haunts H-1B program beneficiaries.

Therefore, we tried to analyze the current trends, political climate and policies to answer your question.

Political climate

In the recent months, there has been a silent war against the H-1B program. Many businesses have already pulled back. The number of applications fell to 199000 from 233000. The new president signed the Buy American hire American executive order last month. This too has influenced many small players from hiring foreign labor. Any legislation limiting the visas is far from a sure thing. It would require creating a coalition involving pro-Trump Republicans, liberal Democrats and organized labor. And given the political climate this is impossible.

WILL H-1B SALARY INCREASE? No chance of coalition, implies no chance of bill passing. So the answer here is No.

 Industry climate

There also seems to be a rough consensus on raising the minimum salary and education levels for the visa worker. This means only one thing: more expensive labor. More labor that is expensive naturally implies salaries are set to increase in some way or the other.

WILL H-1B SALARY INCREASE? Yes, ever so slightly employers prefer more US work force and students who have completed their masters abroad. The latest news that is floating around is that Cognizant has cut 10000 Indian jobs to hire in US and Infosys has cut 6000 jobs to hire in US. Software giants like Google, Amazon and Microsoft prefer US workforce and masters students.

Policy climate

During a briefing a white house official informed reporters that it was highly likely some form of law or executive order might come out dictating the education requirements to get the visa.  Two out of the four bills currently introduced call for raising the minimum salary for visa recipients to more than $100,000. Note that the current prevailing wage averages $60,000.

The idea behind these bills is to make the high tech jobs more attractive to American nationals. However, inside sources say that the $100,000 is excessively high and the industry may settle for $80,000-$90,000 range. Nevertheless, the industry also wants an increase in number of visas increased.

Another suggestion is to change the allocation of visa issuance. The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers’ Biggs said, “Replacing the lottery with an auction. Let it go to the highest bidders. If these visas are so valuable, employers should be willing to pay whatever the market rate is,”

WILL SALARY INCREASE? : Possible. Pushed by the industry on mutual agreement. Senate is dysfunctional and is highly unlikely to pass the bill. However, there is a small chance it might hence possible.

Historic Trends

The following graphs show you the median pay and the actual trends of how H-1B visa salaries have increased over the years.

The bulk of Distribution of H-1B Salaries is around the $60,000-$80000 range.



Median salary has increased from $62,400 to $70000 between 2015 and 2009

That is a 12% increase over 6 years.  But if you started with $62,400 in the year 2009 and ended up with 70,000 in 2015 the actual rate of increase is 1.94%. Moreover, the US inflation rate is close to 1.7%.

That means your salary has remained the same.


So what is the verdict?

One cannot blame the companies for pleasing investors by maximizing profits (That is why they are companies and you are working for them). Unless a revolution happens or unless politicians do good for the Americans and the IMMIGRANTS (pun intended).  The answer is NO! So stop being greedy  😛 (tongue out smiley)    



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