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h1b visa Trump

H1B Visa Holders Exempted by Trump’s Executive Order, But They Must not Displace US Workers

President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration does not suspend H1B visa processing, but the work visa-holders may have to assure that they are not displacing American workers.

Technology workers on H1B visas may need to provide ‘updated certifications’ that they have not displaced any US employee, says a report from Bloomberg.

Considering President Trump’s news brief at the White House, he wants to halt processing for applicants seeking permanent residency (green card) based on employment. However, Bloomberg says the executive order will also put on hold the processing of many types of work visas for 90 days.

Rosanna Berardi, an immigration lawyer in Buffalo, New York, told Voice of America that the US technology industry would be struck if Trump expands his order to cover H1B visas.

“Some of America’s largest corporations that we all know and love – like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook – are very reliant on this H1B [work visa] category,” Berardi said.

“It’s not that they don’t want to hire US workers, they do. It’s faster, simpler, easier, cheaper [to hire American workers], but there aren’t enough qualified Americans to do those types of jobs, mostly in the tech sector.”

Indian business daily The Economic Times has argued that American universities will turn out to be the biggest losers, saying the executive order “will make US less attractive to Indian students seeking to study and build careers there.”

The daily says H1B visa holders will not be impacted. The United States grants 85,000 H1B visas every year. Indian nationals are the single largest group of work visa-holders accounting for nearly 74% of the visas issued so far.

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However, in the past two years, US authorities are increasingly rejecting visa applications from Indian IT outsourcing firms. The rejection rate rose to 24% in 2019 compared to the previous year.

Moreover, the program has become a political hot potato, with many anti-immigration groups and politicians urging the president to suspend the visa program once and for all.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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