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How Will Donald Trump’s Policies Affect H1-B Workers In The U.S?


Donald Trump has openly stated his aim of deporting illegal immigrants in the U.S. back to their countries. However, his stance on  H1-B workers in the U.S remains nebulous.

In the early days of campaigning, Trump emphatically stated his plan of rescinding the H1-B visa through which thousands of people from countries like India and China are working in the U.S.

According to the U.S embassy, “the US H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc.” It has a maximum duration of up to 6 years.

Throughout his campaign, Trump promised to “restore our laws and bring back our jobs.” Earlier, he vehemently opposed the influx of non-immigrant workers who were replacing American workers but his recent stance and utterances on this issue have vexed the common man.

 The new government’s decisions about the H1-B visa is still unknown. However, it is most likely that the rules around the H1-B visas will tighten.

If the rules around the H1-Bs become stricter, Trump may be able to deliver on his avowed commitment of “bringing jobs back”; but only in the short run. As the number of nonimmigrant workers in the U.S plummet, employment of the American citizens will rise.

While this move will help to generate employment for the U.S citizens, companies that hire cheap labor from countries like India and China will loathe this new paradigm of recruitment. The salary that they pay to the foreign workers’ American counterparts will be significantly higher, thereby resulting in the ballooning of manpower expenses which in turn will be detrimental to a company’s bottom line.

As a way to curb the entry of foreign workers in the U.S, an additional step that the Trump government might take is to raise the visa fee (which is paid by the company for the employee) or make the process of applying for getting a green-card more cumbersome for the non-immigrant workers.

Another connotation that can be attributed to the H1-B visa restriction is the drying up of the most prodigious talent in high-end jobs like software and computer applications. Up until now, American IT companies have been attracting the best brains. Post H1-B restrictions, that pool of highly intelligent professionals might find coming to the U.S. more of a cumbersome process. Staying back home will be a boon in disguise for the companies in their native lands.

Any which way this pans out, there is a lot of uncertainty that lies ahead. How the squeeze in H1B visa results in job creation in the U.S or affects the U.S companies’ bottom lines, lies totally in the realm of suspense that will unfold only with the passage of time.




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  • ‘Best talent’ isn’t going to dry up. The H1B is popular because it is inexpensive temporary labor. Skills have nothing to do with it otherwise there would be proper software companies in india, not service providers or bodyshops. No native marketable OS or DB framework back at home. When projects are going south and over budget, the Americans are the ones called in for damage control. As well, what is missing here is the delta between the multiples of foreign temp workers and time burned to reach a solution vs. the singular native talent that will deliver on time. Lower cost per resource has a more immediate showing on quarterly reports vs. the time burned on overrun in time and budgets on long term projects.

    • Dude,

      Sorry that you are so misguided. Business is run by profit else its all called non Profit. Imagine restricting Google to hire from a limited pool Google loses its innovation and then China already has its search engine ready. Do you think you will be able to hold your innovative edge with these restrictions There is a reason why Midwest car companies went bankrupt and not Silicon Valley during the recession. Think about it. USA no longer has the amount of consumers needed for it to be a self thriving economy. It relies on other countries to buy defense equipment’s. What you are thinking will have long term ripple effects Imagine how protectionism and communism bode for Russia Are you ready to live a life like that. Well I am sure you think all your problems are because of immigration but after that will be that young people are taking jobs from old people Now will you kick your son and daughter out of USA. A skilled & adaptable worker will always have work no matter where he goes. Think about Charles Darwin Theory.

    • I agree u partially but I agree that some real restrictions on h1b eligibility is good for all I cannot go more deeper into this issue now

    • You are wrong. We have huge issues finding good candidates and we don’t even put compensation and still don’t get quality people.

  • “……Post H1B restrictions, that pool of highly intelligent professionals might find coming to the U.S. more of a cumbersome process. Their staying back home will be a boon in disguise for the companies in their native lands.”

    I think the author is not aware of the current visa misuses. The kind of people coming on H1B nowadays are no way be called technology professionals, they are simply poorly educated cheap coders. Of course, fraction of H1B visas allocated to brilliant professionals and rest goes to TATA, Infosys, WIPRO…etc.

  • In my opinion we should really try to bring the best talent to the US, United States is a country of immigrants and if we can steal the best talent from all over the world we should. We are becoming not the most innovative country in the world and this is a scary thought. Countries like Israel, India, China, Germany and others are having huge leaps in technology and in order for us to be always on top we need to take these people and bring them here.

    On another subject there are lots of students that go the Universities here like Stanford, Harvard, Yale etc and the leave because they can’t stay. WHY? It is stupid, we are training these people and someone is enjoying the innovation from the skills that we gave these people.

    One other aspect is 70% of Fortune 500 CEO’s are immigrants. Why would we want that to stop? These CEO’s hire thousands of US Citizens.

  • i dont think restrictions on H1B will affect innovation. Indian companies hardly send anyone with innovative an strong tech skill here on H1B. Indian IT companies have zero allocation for any innovative research. The tolerance for risk is nearly zero, this statement has come direct from Indian Prime minister Modi after
    The typical Indian It company philosophy goes this way, u have brilliant guy (having higher pay) who build team in new account and it is doing well , the middle management starts process to dump the guy and show some saving in costs and higher profit margin.
    There is absolutely no environment that fosters innovation and creativity and encourage risk taking in 99% Indian companies, both IT and Non-IT. Copy cats are mostly higly rewarded and taken up the management hierarchy and have bonus to bonus outlook and no long term strategy.
    The pattern of layoff in IT firms in last 3 years indicates lack of strategy, plan and ability to utilize highly skilled and experienced professionals as they are seen dumping senior folks and hiring freshers to maintain high profit margins.

    • Ramesh,
      You are right on spot. I am the victim of one of those. Showed creative ability to improved distressed huge account and at the end all is fine, they started disabling and frustrating me to make me go out or take a shit administrative work. All my creative thoughts were quickly copied by peers, HR and organization and Indian companies are very smart to suppress any sharp individual by humiliating him to get him out and have their own ass lickers. Due to H1B and L1 visa abuse, lot of untalented resources have flooded the market and TCS, Infosys, Wipro like companies started body shopping and went to the extent taking interviews from India with US professionals. All the interviews are make those sick middle management guys driving the car with background noise, no time sense and do not know how to question a professional in USA. They think that people in India are smarter than people in USA who worked hard to get their green card or citizenship slogging and proving every day basis. I had recently TCS interview for a senior management position and phone interview by panel sitting and driving in cars from India, so pathetic is that they get disconnected often and come back asking same questions again repeatedly which were answered already. These guys are paid high salaries in India and treat American folks very badly at the end asking for 80K-100K for a senior manager position. Atleast with new policies, US citizens, green card holders and talented pool will get right job with right salary while in India, still opportunities for all those aspired US H1bs continue to work back in their native country.

  • What I am curious about is will this affect only new applicants and grandfather in existing H1 visa holders in this country? Or will this also affect existing holders too. My fiancée is on one now and doesn’t make anywhere near that $130,000 cap. He is three years in and just got his H1 renewed for the next three years. So would this also affect him?

About the author

Ateeya Sandhu

Ateeya Sandhu

Ateeya Sandhu is studying International Relations at the University of Toronto. She is an avid reader who is extremely passionate about feminism, equality rights and social problems in India. An altruist at heart, she dreams of opening her own charitable organization one day.


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