Future of H1B under President elect Donald Trump
INDIANS-H1B to Green Card-11 years - IS IT WORTH IT?
US President Elect early priorities is outlined in his video on YouTube directing “The Department of Labor to investigate abuses of visa programs that undermines the American jobs”.
Is this the demise of the H-1B program, wherein 65000 temporary workers and 20000 advanced STEM degree holders are allowed to apply each year on 1 April for a start date of 1 Oct ?
The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for ensuring that foreign workers do not displace or adversely affect wages or working conditions of US workers.
USA – Green Card for Indians:
Permanent residence for an Indian in the USA is a valuable asset. Many potential immigrants from India want to acquire that asset and become valuable members of American society. However, the H1B path is a long and enduring journey which raises uncertainty issues around marriage, family etc.; which is part and parcel of life as an Indian.
For an Indian, the H1B path puts them in the awkward position of having their visa status tied to their job until their green card is approved. (12 to 16 years). The queue for H1B workers from India to secure green cards stretches back to March 2005.
President Elect policy:
Will the H1 B survive in its present form?
The appointment of Senator Jeff Session as the next US Attorney General signals major changes in policy.
In March 2016 Senator Session called for change in laws on H1B. In Feb 2016 he delivered a statement on “Myth of American Stem Worker shortage”. In Dec 2015 he introduced a Bipartisan Bill to reduce H1B visas and Boost wages. Senator Session with Senator Ted Cruz co-sponsored legislation (American Jobs First Act 2015) to change the H1 B program. In fact, he with other Senators also wrote a letter to the previous AG Eric Holder, Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and Labur Secretary Thomas Perez in 2015 asking them to investigate Southern California Edison’s use of the H1B guest worker program.
Many of the CEO’s including Google’s Sundar Pichar and Microsoft Satya Nadella came from the bottom up, starting from Graduate Schools. More than half of the Technology startups are founded by migrants.
Indian Software Engineer – Garden of Eden
India has produced a large number of Software Engineers with two, Sundar Pichai CEO Google and Satya Nadella CEO Microsoft, who are considered role models by Software Engineers in India.
The exponential growth of Engineering Colleges in India has produced large number of Software Engineers; some excellent and some average.
For years, getting a Green card for an Indian Software Engineers has been the highest priority. Many H-1B hopefuls imagine that going to America will mean they can change their fortune. Securing an H-1B is a dream of every middle-class Indian. Will this dream end for present Engineering students?
In 2016, once again a record of 233000 applications were submitted with USCIS who closed the lodgement of applications on 7 April 2016.
USCIS used a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the US Master Degree cap. On 13 April 2016 the computer-generation selection process picked at random the 65000 applicants and 20000 applicants.
Will India be the biggest loser?
Companies like Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, HCL, Tech Mahindra, Cognizant Technology, Larsen & Toubro and Capgemini etc. are likely to be the biggest loser. Most of the Indian companies are heavily dependent on the H1B visas for their revenue.
Will the President elect, policy under Senator Session have major impact to their revenue model dependent on supplying Tech workers from India to US companies under the H1 B program?
If there are major changes in the H1B program from 20 January 2017 will it have an impact on the Indian economy – loss of billions?
Queue for Indians
For an Indian, the H1B path puts them in the awkward position of having their visa status tied to their job until their green card is approved. The queue for H1B workers from India to get green cards stretches under EB 2 or EB3 to 15 March 2005.
ALTERNATE PLAN - AUSTRALIAN PERMANENT RESIDENCE :
Australia has a robust Grading Points test skilled migration program for direct entry into Australia. The Federal Government decides on a Skilled Occupation list which it legislates by an Instrument annually. The selection process is points tested based on Qualifications, Work experience, English proficiency, Age. Australia has a history of attracting the best overseas talent through the skilled migration program.
Each State is also allocated its own quota for visas. Further the individual states are authorized under law to make their own Skilled Occupation list, and specify the Qualifications, years of Experience and English language score required for each individual.
Information Technology Occupations are both on the Commonwealth and State Skilled Occupations list in demand.
The process of securing an Australian Residency involves a skills assessment of qualifications and/or experience, applying for an Expression of Interest, receiving an invitation to apply from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, applying for a visa against the invitation and finally the grant of the visa. Based on present information, the processing time period is between 6-12 months.
The alternate approach is to receive a State Sponsorship which receives the highest priority in processing under the Minister of Immigration & Border Protection Directions.
All timings are based on present case scenario, which are subject to change in future depending on the applications lodged and/or periodic changes in Immigration Law.
INDIAN IT PROFESSIONAL IN USA - CHOICE
Indian IT professionals have a choice to make
a) Wait for 11 years with the same sponsor to secure the Green Card
b) Apply to Australia and secure permanent residence within processing times of 6 - 12 months which are subject to annual quotas and the periodic change in migration laws.
c) Secure Australian permanent residence, enter Australia, apply for citizenship in 4 years, and have an option to return to the USA on an E3 work visa (only for Australian citizens) sponsored by an Employer or an E 2 Investment Treaty visa to set up their own businesses in USA.
d) Secure Australian permanent residence, enter Australia, exit Australia and return within 5 years from the date of visa grant. This gives an applicant an opportunity to continue their present job and make up his/her mind in 5 years.
The present demand for IT workers in Australia may not last long and Indian workers should take advantage of the present shortage of IT skills in Australia, a stable economy, a stable country to raise children, free schooling in Government schools, subsidised University Education and free medicare for all. Australia is a country that never went into recession during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
Disclaimer : The above is not legal Advice.
For further information on Australian Immigration contact:
Glenn Joseph Pereira
You Tube video : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/us...residency.html
Green Card Queue: https://travel.state.gov/content/vis...mber-2016.html
Senator called for change in Law : http://www.sessions.senate.gov/publi...D-32FCBEEC9232
Myth of American Stem workers : http://www.sessions.senate.gov/publi...E-63DFB2A6E04E
Bill to reduce H1B visas : http://www.sessions.senate.gov/publi...2-3578B4D88ACB
Co-sponsored legislation : https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2394/text
Senators wrote a letter : http://www.sessions.senate.gov/publi...f-socal-edison
2017 H1B applications : https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/us...rocess-fy-2017
Australian Skilled Occupation List : http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/W...ions-lists/SOL
Australian Processing time : http://www.border.gov.au/about/acces...ocessing-times