Congress Aims To Make H-1B Visa Less Costly For India

24 Sep 2015


Immigration News

Congress wishes to drop about $2000 H-1B visa fee, mostly paid by the India-based IT service providers. This move is being met with incredulity by the H-1B critics, but it also helps in getting relief to the Indian offshore industry.

The fee adopted in 2010; it is sought by US Sen Chuck Schumer (DNY) who chaired Subcommittee Senate immigration when Democrats were holding power. The Schumer has described the overseas form to be multinational temp agencies that undercut the US wages.

The fee does expire on 1st Oct, the start of the new fiscal yr, and Congress has not put any immediate effort to extend it. The fee raises between $70 million and $80 million annually for the US as per the Indian industry trade group. The money was used to improve the border security initially, but now it has been used to help pay the medical needs of 9/11 1st responders.

Director of govt relations, Russ Harrison, relations of engineering association IEEE_USA has said, that eliminating the fee does make no sense, particularly after the lawmakers in both parties have expressed the outrage about the usage of H-1B workers in the recent layoffs.

We had nearing to half of the Congress, who have been  tripping itself and trying to before camera to tell the American public as how upset they were about SCE (Southern California Edison), Walt Disney and all other companies that have used this visa to eliminate mostly American jobs, said Harrison.

Presently Congress would manage to make  (the H-1B Visa) cheaper.

A middle-class American job is worth a lot more than $2000 and companies are trying to make tens of thousands of dollars each visa, each year off this thing, said Harrison, who would like to see the fee raised.

The $2000 fee did not affect the H-1B using firms such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft. It does apply to firms having minimum 50% of their employees on visas. The Indian offshore firms, the heaviest users of the visas, were the legislative target.

The Nasscom president, India's IT industry trade group, Chandrashekhar is of the belief that fee to be unjustified.

The fees had nothing to with industries such as IT and secondly the fees were applied inequitable manner. And it specifically does target the Indian companies Chandrashekhar said in an interview. By eliminating the fee, it would be a welcome development.

Chandrashekar added that, the Indian IT industry does contribute to US economy in numerous different ways, but it is not fully appreciated or understood.

The industry group wishes the lawmakers to see its IT industry in the context of bilateral trade, and it has released a report on Monday and it offers details what it sees as the benefits of this trade.

Congress aims to make H-1B visa-less costly for India

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