US tells companies not to overlook qualified Americans
"We need to work towards commonsense immigration reform that would reform and expand the H-1B visa and OPT program, and create a startup visa to help the USA stay competitive in today's global economy", Ranneberger said.
Trump has yet to issue that order; the enforcement effort announced Monday could be an interim measure while a broader overhaul is worked out. But Monday's statement appears to be a new warning to employers not to displace Americans.
Every year, the U.S. issues 65,000 H-1B visas, with a Master's exemption (candidates with Master's degrees from United States universities) of 20,000 visas.
"No one wins but the billionaires", she said.
Tech companies are relying on the H-1B program to bring in skilled overseas employees.
For H-1B visas given out in the 2017 lottery beginning 3 April, the government now requires additional information for entry-level computer programmers, to prove the jobs are complicated and require advanced knowledge and experience.
The application process is considered a good yardstick of the health of the American high-end economy. The Trump administration has promised more investigations and prosecutions against companies that abuse the system.
Outsourcing firms obtain visas for foreign workers and then contract them out to tech companies.
A report in the New York Times said the visa program faces uncertainty as it has been criticized for being what some people call a scheme to displace American workers with cheap foreign ones.
"Thus, a petitioner may not rely exclusively on the Handbook to meet its burden when seeking to sponsor a beneficiary for a computer programmer position".
The problem the rules change is supposed to address is undercutting American workers by hiring lower-paid foreign workers as part of the H-1B program.
A member of the Justice Department said the US workers should not have a disfavored status and the DOJ was committed wholeheartedly to the investigation and prosecution of any claims.
The warning marked a major break with the Obama and Bush administrations - though less than some analysts had hoped for.
Immigration attorneys said that in theory, the announcements themselves don't present significant material changes to the H-1B visa program. Previously, H-1B applicants could pay a $1,225 fee to receive an answer on their visa applications within 15 days of applying. The idea of protecting American jobs is now clearly front and centre, and Indian IT companies have their task cut out in demonstrating that the staff for whom they are seeking H-1B visas are indeed providing specialist services to their American clients.
The issue unites Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill. "There are a total of 13 Bills, out of which four Bills are about H-1B, six Bills are about outsourcing". The USICS has been conducting random site visits since 2009 to ensure compliance with the visa norms, but said it was stepping up its scrutiny to "to identify employers who are abusing the system". Not only does the procedure become more stringent, the internal policies that nominated an employee over someone else in India would also go through a sea change.
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