H-1B woes: US starts crackdown on business visas for H-1B specialty occupations

 H-1B woes: US starts crackdown on business visas for H-1B specialty occupations

The United States is putting stricter measures on the work visa programs to prioritise employment opportunities for local Americans.


The US State Department has proposed to not issue temporary business visas for H-1B specialty occupation categories. 

The move will hurt several hundred Indians. The proposal is currently under review. If it gets finalised, it will eliminate the chances of employees visiting the US on B-1 visas to fulfil the temporary job. 

The Trump administration has made this move just a few weeks ahead of the November 3 presidential elections.

 It will impact several Indian tech firms that send its employees on B-1 visas for a short stay to complete the on-site job in the US. 

The US state department is cracking down cases where IT firms misused the B-1 visa program to bypass the requirement of H-1B visas.

 In December last year, the Attorney General of California announced a settlement against over 500 Infosys employees that worked in the state on B-1 visas. 

The state department said, "The proposed changes and the resulting transparency would reduce the impact of foreign labour on the U.S. workforce of aliens performing activities in a speciality occupation without the procedural protections attendant to the H-1B classification." 

Under the B-1 visas, foreign tech workers could travel to the US to fill a temporary need for services. 

This can impact the opportunities for local US workers. The US state department wants to eliminate this possibility. 

If the rule is approved, it will come into effect in early December. It will be challenged and criticised by the trade groups.

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