Why the H1-B Visa is Not Likely to change Under Trump
Donald Trump has won the battle for the US presidency by vowing to crack down on immigration in a bid to create more jobs for American citizens, but what does this mean for the IT industry in India. Currently, the Indian IT industry pays around $80 million every year to the American treasury in the way of visa fees for immigrant workers from India who work for American companies on jobs outsourced to Indian companies such as Tata and Infosys. The US tech industry is the main hirer of Indian talent due to a shortfall in a skilled local workforce.
The fees for non-immigrant working visas such as the H1-B visa increased in 2015 by $2,000, and it is predicted that Trump will add more taxes and even cap the number of the H1-B visas that are given out every year, with Indian workers receiving around 75% of them. If there are more fees and restrictions then this may deter Indian IT companies from using the H1-B visa. There is a myth in the US that American companies are replacing skilled native workers with their lower priced Indian equivalents but legally companies still have to pay Indian staff at the same base rate as they do American staff. If Donald Trump wants to make any changes to US immigration law, then any reforms would have to be ratified by both the House of Representatives and Congress. Republican senators have been trying to reduce the number of H1-B visas given for the past three years, but each time, Congress has not passed their bids as US businesses have lobbied hard to keep the H1-B visa. So while there may be talk about immigration reform, it is likely that it will not affect skilled Indian workers coming into America on H1-B visas, as the US tech industry relies upon being able to hire skilled foreign workers to compete and innovate globally.