Politics

Tightening The Screws On H-1Bs

A lot of skilled immigrants, typically, on H1-B visas, mostly from countries like India and China, are returning home than face an uncertain future in the U.S.

The financial meltdown, the misuse of the H-1B visas (including a slew of frauds), growing allegations of the displacement of the local worker, and a mild xenophobic sentiment among jobless Americans, have together, created a situation in which the government isn’t too eager to retain them.

It’s tightening the screws on companies that have hired overseas workers on with lower salaries than their American counterparts, trained, and hired them locally, over a U.S. worker to manage their U.S. operations.

As early as April 2009, legislation could make it mandatory for all employers to show that they’ve actively tried to fill a position with an American, before having resorted to recruiting a foreign worker. Currently, only those companies with a large percentage of H-1B visa holders in their U.S. workforce have to meet this requirement.

In the long run, this will make it difficult for U.S. companies to import foreign labor. But given today’s grim economic prospects, do the job-seekers want to migrate?

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