Update June 20, 2019 – NDTV reports that US department of state has confirmed that they have no plans to restrict number of H1B for India or any other country at this time.
Yesterday, Reuters broke the story that US is thinking about country based quota for H1B to hand twist other countries for trade negotiations.
Only 15% H1B Visas For Indians
The Indian government’s mandate to store the data locally in India based servers has triggered a backslash from US companies.
NDTV reports that the US administration is upset about asking US firms like Mastercard and Visa to store more data locally. The financial giants are lobbying with US government to put pressure on India by threatening to reduce the number of H1B visa given to Indians.
It has been reported that US is actively thinking about restricting the total number of Indian H1Bs to about 10-15% of total 85k yearly quota. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has asked for an “urgent response” from bureaucrats on how such a limitation on H1B visa will affect India.
The proposal to reduce H1B quota for Indians and other countries who place restrictions on US companies is currently being discussed internally within US government, reports NDTV.
Indian IT consulting Companies Will be Affected
I am sure that Indian government will try to avoid this drastic step as it affects the middle class Indian IT workers who claim almost 60k H1Bs every year with no country specific quota in place. The companies like TCS, Infosys and HCL use the H1-B to bring skilled workers for speciality occupations in US.
Reuters report says that the plan to restrict the H-1B visa program has been doing rounds internally in government ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to New Delhi.
Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have also been pressurized by Indian government in past to store data locally in India and share with central government as and when requested. Most of the time, social media companies fulfill the government’s request but have complained about the un-necessary and un-reasonable requests when the data is encrypted and cannot be shared.
US India Trade War is Affecting H1B Visa Decision
The US is also under pressure from US companies due to the trade war between India and US with respect to Indian import duties. India has raised the duties on several products that US exports last week after the key trade privilege was lifted by Washington.
Affected US businesses are expecting India to bend and take the increased import duties back to earlier level by hand twisting explicitly with changing H1B rules.
I think that US is just trying to exert pressure on Indian government and they will probably not make any changes to H1B visas quota. It is not easy to face away from skilled workers that are in high demand based on current year’s April 2019 lottery.
US IT major companies need experienced computer science workers which are only available from country like India and China.
US has always acted like a big boss. Trump government always tries to show their strength if they want to negotiate on other government’s rules and regulations.
Mexico, Canada, China and now India is at receiving end of USA’s economic muscle power.
In this case, if US goes ahead with restricting the number of H1B available to Indians, US tech giants and Healthcare industry will suffer equally with Indian IT consulting companies.
India supplies not only the software engineers but highly skilled doctors and physicians to US employers using H1B visa.
There is no need to be scared at this time until there is anything final and substantial is announced by US government.
Are you Affected?
If you are the one who will be affected by this country based restriction on H1B visa, do let us know about it in comments.
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