A recent notification by U.S Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) specifying changes to the selection procedure for H1-B cap-subject has received a severe backlash from all across the globe. The proposed rules reversed the order in which H1-B beneficiaries are selected.
According to the advanced notification, the new rules governing H1-B visa will now favor applicants with higher pay and an advanced degree over other less-skilled applicants.
Earlier, advanced degree applicants holding a degree higher than masters degree from a recognized US education institution, had a separate quota of 20,000 from which applicants were picked in a lottery system. There was a congressionally mandated annual H-1B cap of 65,000 for anyone with no master’s degree. Now, USCIS has included all advanced degree holders in the lottery for the regular cap and has also changed the order in which the lottery system will be conducted. Now, the regular cap lottery would be conducted first, followed by the second lottery if there are enough remaining advanced-degree holders to meet the advanced-degree exemption.
According to a report by Press Trust of India (PTI), this policy change will lead to a hit on IT companies’ profitability as the number of HI1-B visas approved is going to get reduced. This will reduce the number of visas available to less-skilled workers employed by the Indian IT companies.
This is likely to lead to 10 percent reduction in H1-B visa approvals for regular applicants, where the applicant is without an advance degree masters or higher from US universities, rating agency Icra was quoted stating in a report by Financial Express.