Donald Trump, the 45th President of the USA has altered or wished to alter major Government policies of his predecessor. After assuming office, he took an aggressive stance against certain affairs such as NATO spendings, H1B visa & travel ban, withdrawal from TTP, etc. He made it simple “Pay for what you get from America“, be it citizens in USA or abroad. His vision to “Make America Great Again” has drawn severe criticism. His policies to realize the dream may have some serious repercussions, as considered by several analysts around the world. The idea of modification in H1B visa & travel ban has received a mixed response in USA and throughout the globe as well. Recent hate crimes and killings in USA is the first out-turn of new H1B visa & travel ban policy, as considered by some observers.
USA is definitely one of the best place to pursue education and has immense job opportunities to offer. Silicon Valley, home to some of the world’s most reputed tech giants imports a lot of intellect from foreign nations such as India, China, etc. Therefore, alteration in Visa policy will have enormous impact, both on employers as well as employee. Let us analyze what changes the Trump administration has decided to make and what implication will it have?
Visa Policy & Travel Ban
The H1B visa issue and travel ban on 6 Muslim countries are two different cases to be studied. Both the issues have common motive (i.e. close the loopholes in the visa policy) but separate consequences, target different immigrant groups. While modifications in H1B visa policy are aimed to counter the influx of un-skilled labor, the travel ban is intended to counter terrorism.
Raging Islamic terrorism throughout the world has been the top agenda of the leaders of every nation. Trump administration manages things in its own ways. Therefore, to protect its nationals, the Trump administration has decided to heighten screening and vetting of application for visas. Hence, on 6 March the President of USA signed the revised travel ban executive order.
The subject of Memorandum addressed to Secretary of State reads:
Implementing Immediate Heightened Screening and Vetting of Applications for Visas and Other Immigration Benefits, Ensuring Enforcement of All Laws for Entry into the United States, and Increasing Transparency among Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and for the American People.
This travel ban will prevent fresh arrivals after 16 March from six countries viz. Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iran & Syria. The ban like all other policies of Trump administration have drawn immense criticism.
Visa Policy & Immigration Reforms
Trump administration has been excessively conscious about the immense competition that Americans face from the immigrants (How? Read Here). Dubbed as another snag in the system, immigration influx according to administration has created a downward pressure on the wages of working Americans. As claimed by “RAISE ACT” only 1 out of 15 immigrants arrives in USA on skill basis. The majority of the remaining immigrants are either low-skilled or un-skilled. Thus, they replace the unskilled or low-skilled American labor. To prevent this Senator Tom Cotton & David Perdue have proposed the “RAISE ACT“.
Highlights of RAISE Act
- To prioritize immediate family households i.e. to eliminate immigration preferences for the extended & adult family members of U.S. residents. Retain preferences for spouses and minor children.
- Create temporary Visa for parents in need of caretaking. The elderly would be granted renewable temporary visa on condition that they are not permitted to work, cannot access public benefits, must be supported by their sponsoring children.
- Eliminate outdated diversity visa lottery.
- Place limit on permanent residency for refugees.
- Reduce overall immigration by 41% in Ist year and 50% by year 10.
Read Full Text Here: RAISE ACT
Protect And Grow American Jobs Act
Another act in accordance with the motive to protect skilled American working class is “Protect & Grow American Jobs Act” which makes certain changes to eligibility requirement of H1B visa. This act was introduced by Darrell Issa & Scott Peters.
Highlights of “Protect & Grow American Jobs Act”
- Increase the minimum salary of H1B workers from $60,000 to $1,00,000.
- Remove the Master’s degree exemption.
- Bill requires an inflation adjustment to the salary threshold every third fiscal year.
Hence stringent norms would make the entry into USA hard. For H1B visa aspirants the good news is that they will get a better salary packages, but only after a lot of grinding. The standards have risen or it may be an indication that the USA does not need imported intellects any more.