The whole world is going through a tough time due to the outbreak of the virus. Death rates are rising, people are getting sick day by day, and most importantly, the economy of the countries are breaking down day by day, leading to massive unemployment. The international relationship between countries is suffering severely and the victims are citizens. And amid all of this chaos, the most strained relationship is that of India and the United States of America, and the result is felt by the immigrants.
The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations and a specialty occupation requires the application of specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of work experience. US President Donald Trump recently has issued a proclamation banning various non-immigrant visas including the H-1B, most sought after by the Indian tech professionals, till this year-end. The reason is to protect the jobs of the native Americans and provide them the opportunities taken by foreign employees. But the MNCs already admitted that they wouldn’t be able to work without foreign employees, especially the ones from Asian countries. Now, no one can talk over the President, right?
Now, the ban will surely impact the prospects of the H-1B visa applicants from top Indian IT services firms including TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Cognizant. Nearly 3-4 lakh H-1B visa holders are currently being employed by top tech firms in India. Not only that, but the visa issues are also separating families in the worst scenarios. Poorva Dixit, a 10-year-old resident of California, left the USA back in March due to the ill condition of her mother back in India, leaving her two young kids with her husband. The new restriction on the visa is not allowing her to reunite with her family and her return is uncertain for a long time. Several international projects are being canceled due to the same reason. Uncertainty is still hovering over the ones who already bagged a job in one of the USA firms.
The Indian IT companies are mainly dependent on countries like the USA and the UK, and now the whole downfall is linked with one another. With Trump-supporting stricter immigrant, non-immigrant visa regimes, the Indian IT firms have reduced their applications for H1-B visas considerably since the last couple of years with efforts to hire more locals in the US. Many have lived and worked in the United States legally for years but were in India when Trump made his announcement on Monday. They are confused and worried about their options for return. The industry analysts fear that a long term ban of H-1B visas that recruit workers for specialist positions in fields such as IT, science will hurt the project deliverability of Indian IT services firms.
There are some exemptions to the ban, including those working in the food supply industry and some medical workers involved in combating the coronavirus. Well, this relief the immigrants and spouses of US citizenship, but the news is still dark for those Indian parents whose children acquired USA citizenship.