Most important questions on H1B visa executive order answered

H1B self deportation
H1B self deportation

We all know that there is lots of uncertainty in terms of H1B visa. The new administration has already passed an executive order and wants to reform the H1B visa process. However, what changes does the new administration want?

Here are the key questions and FAQs on H1B visa

What is the most important thing the new administration wants to accomplish?

The current president has called the H1B visa process completely random and outright wrong. He wants the H1B visas issued to the best, brightest and highest paid aliens. He wants to curb the abuse performed by Large IT service companies from gaming the system by flooding the pool with many applications

How much power does the president have? Can he really change the entire visa process with a signature on the executive order?

                Surprisingly the answer to this question is “He has very little power”. And No! He cannot change the H-1B visa process with just a signature. In order to overhaul the H1B visa process the administration needs a legislation from Congress.             

How will Trump’s order affect the H-1B visa approval process?

              Read what the executive order means and how it affects you here.

Will the new executive order raise the salaries of H-1B visa holders or for new H-1B visas issues issued next year?

                Though this is a tough question to answer. Unless a legislation comes into act, nothing much will change. However, from what we have seen wide spread abuse has indeed come down due to the fear of a crackdown so wages for the lowest-paid H-1B visa workers are almost certain to rise. The goal of the executive order was create an honest prevailing wage policy and not a law.

What else can the new administration do to affect H-1B visas without congress?

                The OPT program which allows someone on a student visa up to 36 months. And the H4 EAD right to work  given to spouses of H-1B visa holders were both created by an executive order, which gives Trump the ability to cancel, revoke or support them. The current administration has asked the court to delay action to give it time to reconsider the spouse work rule. But as of now there is no other information on against it. So relax.

Will the current administration take the H-1B visa issue up in the court?

                Though the department of Justice (DOJ) recently warned employers from abusing the H-1B program and discriminating the US work force. There is no reason to believe that there will be action against H-1B workers or the offshoring model. In fact, America is a capitalist country that wants to increase company’s profit. Offshoring is perhaps the best way to do it. So there will be excessive lobbying to protect that interest.

Will India interfere and take some action on this issue? Since Indian IT firms are the biggest beneficiary of H-1B visa’s?

                Yes, India is already interfering. According to India H-1B is a trade and services issue. If the US government restricts the visa in a way it affects or hurts the Indian IT services firms, this country may retaliate on trade. India is one of the biggest market for U.S firms and putting U.S on notice in terms of trade will definitely hurt US economy. In addition, there seems to be a lot of lobbying happening currently and it will most likely result in India benefitting.

If the new government does want to curb the visas, will they be able to convince the congress?

                Most likely no! The H-1B visa issue is not new. Every administration has tried to amend the visa in some way or the other and they seem to accomplish nothing. The current house and the administration have other problems like low approval ratings, health care to deal with, and this will be the last in their agenda. And it is highly unlikely that the H-1B will gain momentum for a reform.

Will Congress act on the reform and put H-1B visa at risk?

     The congress might act on the reform, but will it put the visa at risk? No! I am not here to bash the current government. But even when you remain neutral, the shape of the government doesn’t look good. They are seeking to solve problems related to health care, tax reforms, Syria, North Korea, issue with Mexican immigration, trade etc. William Stock, the AILA president said, “I am really worried about whether they are going to even pass a budget”. So there you go. Stop worrying for now.

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