Immigration lawyers in Silicon Valley is about to get busy. Soon after the travel ban for refugees from seven Muslim predominant countries, the Trump administration is reported to have drafted another immigration reform that targets H1B visas. Details below as updated.
Are H1B visas cancelled?
As of writing this. No. What I do know is that as reported by news agencies like Bloomberg, H1B visas are next up on Trump’s radar. And it doesn’t look like H1B visas will be cancelled, but perhaps they will be made more difficult to get.
Currently only 85,000 H1B visas are available in a year and a lion’s share of those are gobbled up by Tech companies and a major chunk of those candidates are from India. There are reports suggesting that this number might be reduced and stricter profiling will be done on H1B applicants so that only the “best” will make it through.
Specifically, Trump’s request asks the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees immigration, is to “consider ways to make the process for allocating H-1B visas more efficient and ensure that beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest.”
Now, will companies be able to source skilled workers through H1B visa program is the biggest challenge. Source
Which companies are offering H1B visas?
As of 2016, there are still many companies offering H1B visas to skilled folks in India. Here is a full list of companies offering H1B visa.
What will happen to existing H1B visa holders?
As of now, there is no official word. But experts are saying that there might not be any reason to panic if you have an updated visa. You will still be able to work for the time period suggested in your visa or if you’ve applied for a green card or extension, until what ever time is permitted on it, officially.
What’s Trump’s policy on H1B visas?
From what early reports suggests, the immigration reform will make it tough for companies to hire from other countries and “force” them to hire locally. Many Silicon Valley companies hire skilled talent from abroad and this is what keeps the talent pool so rich in USA. Almost 75% of Silicon Valley’s work force is foreign born (Source).
Will spouses of H1B visa holders be affected?
Possibly. According to this report, there might be revisions made to the law that will not allow work permits to spouses of H1 visa holders (H4 visas). During the Obama administration, a bill was passed that would allow H4 visa holders to work if their spouses had filed for green card or permanent residency. (Source)
This story will be updated as it unfolds. Do subscribe for updates.