suspends visa

Trump changes immigration visa norms to protect American jobs - suspends H1B, H4, L1 and J1 visas till the end of the year. Those already in the US are safe and have nothing to worry.

Experts argue that this move may have a serious impact on both Indian and American tech industry.

Google CEOs Sunder Pichai spoke out against this step tweeting that "Immigration has contributed immensely to America's economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today's proclamation - we'll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all."

Other business leaders like Elon Musk have also voiced their disapproval with this decision.

However, the Trump administration touts this move as one needed to counter the unemployment crisis kicked off by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its proclamation reads:

"Under ordinary circumstances, properly administered temporary worker programs can provide benefits to the economy. But under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.

"Many workers have been hurt through no fault of their own due to corona virus and they should not remain on the sidelines while being replaced by new foreign labor."


This means that many popular work visas used by Indian IT companies and Silicon Valley tech giants like Apple and Google - H-1B, H-2B, and a few categories of J and L visas - shall remain suspended until December 31.

However, criticizing this move, in a statement put out on Tuesday morning, Indian industry lobby association Nasscom said that barring the entry of "certain non-immigrants into America" is "misguided and harmful to the US economy".

"... this new proclamation will prevent our companies and thousands of other organizations from accessing the talent they need from overseas. With very few exceptions, Indian nationals and others who are granted new H-1Bs or L-1s as well as other visa types after 23rd June will not be allowed to enter the United States until the proclamation expires. Even though our companies have hired tens of thousands of Americans and invested billions of dollars in recent years, they, like others in the sector, utilize such high-skilled individuals to service their clients. This new proclamation will impose new challenges and possibly force more work to be performed offshore since the local talent is not available," Nasscom's statement notes.

Will this hurt, economically for the IT companies?
Analyzing the situation The Wire writes:
"There is no doubt that Indian IT companies and Indian engineers have been big beneficiaries of the H-1B visa regime. According to latest data, as of April 1, 2020, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received about 2.5 lakh H-1B work visa (approximately 250,000) applications. 'Indians' had applied for as many as 67% or 1.84 lakh (approximately 185,000) of the total H-1B work visas for the current financial year ending March 2021. The recent ban is clearly a major escalation and a huge problem - especially because the October period is when the new fiscal year for H-1B visas start. "