Companies applying for H-1B visas for their employees will now face stricter scrutiny, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a policy memorandum on Thursday. The move is likely to hit Indian software companies and their employees.
The Donald Trump administration said companies will now have to prove that their H-1B employees at a third-party worksite have specific tasks in a speciality occupation. The H-1B visa allows companies to hire highly-skilled foreign professionals working in areas where there is a shortage of qualified American workers.
This means companies seeking H-1B visas for their employees will now have to do a lot more paper work. Along with their visa application letter, the companies will have to submit evidence of actual work assignments, description of the task entrusted upon the beneficiary, the qualifications required to perform those tasks, the duration of the job, salary, work hours and other benefits.
Under the new policy, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services can issue H-1B visas only for the period for which the employees work at a third-party worksite. Currently, H-1B visas are issued for three years.
Indians account for the maximum number of H-1B visa holders. Companies like Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and several others seek a considerable number of H-1B visas to send Indian workers to the US. More than three lakh Indian engineers are believed to be on H-1B visas in the US.