New H-1B visa rules announced: 6 biggest changes

New H-1B visa rules announced: 6 biggest changes
New H-1B visa rules announced: 6 biggest changes

New H-1B visa rules announced: 6 biggest changes

Donald Trump administration has announced a new policy on H-1B visa rules.

The new rules are expected to create an “indirect barrier” to technology companies that send engineers from India to work on US projects.

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The new rules come via a 7-page policy memorandum published by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on February 22.

Here are the six biggest changes that the new H1-B visa guidelines mean for IT companies and professionals …

Ends practice of granting H-1B visa for minimum 3 years

Ends practice of granting H-1B visa for minimum 3 years

H-1B visa will be granted for only that duration for which a beneficiary will have to do the specified work.

Currently, visas are granted for three years and an extension for another three years is almost given. US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) said, in the new guidance issued, that its officers can seek detailed documentation and more evidence from companies to establish that they have specific assignments in a specialty occupation for the H-1B beneficiary, and that they have these assignments for the entire time requested on the petition.

The new rules imply that one may not even now get the initial full three years.

Makes the transition from H-1B to a Green Card next to impossible

Makes the transition from H-1B to a Green Card next to impossible

Shorter duration visas will make it nearly impossible for H-1B visa users to get a Green card.
Tough to join the dots between qualification and work

Tough to join the dots between qualification and work

According to companies Times of India spoke to, it will be difficult for immigration officers to join the dots between qualification and work, leaving the granting of visa to their discretion.
Increases the burden of paper work

Increases the burden of paper work

There will be more paperwork as detailed documentation will be required on the nature of assignment at the client site.

India’s apex software body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) said, “This will be an unnecessary and expensive paperwork burden that will not make much difference (to companies sending their own staff).”

Employees on H-1B visas cannot be moved between projects and companies

Employees on H-1B visas cannot be moved between projects and companies

Under the new policy announced by Trump administration, companies have to prove that the employees that they send to the US on H-1B visas have “specific and no speculative qualifying assignments in a speciality occupation” for the entire visa period.

This means that employees coming to the US on H-1B visa cannot be moved between projects and companies once they are in the country.

A Bengaluru-based staffing expert told Economic Times that when third-party companies file petitions for H-1B visas to deploy professionals, they eventually employ people on multiple worksites and the fresh policies will put in stringent paperwork to do that.

Companies need to provide additional evidence like nature of work & more

Companies need to provide additional evidence like nature of work & more

The new policy suggests that companies may have to share additional evidence, such as more details in the work orders or in letters from the end client regarding the beneficiaries’ work.

The contract letter should now provide additional information, such as a detailed description of the specialized duties the beneficiary will perform, the qualifications required to perform those duties, the duration of the job, salary or wages paid, hours worked, benefits, a detailed description of who will supervise the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s duties, and any other related evidence.

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