US H–1B Visa Applications from India Drop. H-2B Visa Slots Reduced Significantly.
A few months ago the US President made significant changes in the some US visa regulations including H-1B visa. This visa is primarily used by high-tech companies from the Silicon Valley to attract high skilled people from outside USA.
The new regulations as per the US administration aims to stop some bad practices of US employers to attract lower-paid foreign workers and avoid higher-paid Americans. The goal is also to bring in the US only the highest skilled employees.
It seems like high tech companies found a way to reduce employees needing H-1B visa. Analysts say that this is thanks to the new technology and automation of many processes. This way they manage to reduce the workforce. Another reason is the employment of talents locally avoiding the need to move them to USA.
The numbers show that in 2016 the top Indian companies needing H-1B visas for their employees have reduced their visa requests by about 37%.
H-2B visa slots has been reduced by about 50%
The government reduced the slots by refusing to grant visas to employees owning such visa in the previous year. Those people are not counted against the annual quota which is about 66 000. This situation with the H-2B visa brings significant issues to many hotel and business owners who previously employed foreign workforce to help them.
H-2B visa is granted to seasonal workers coming to the USA for a short period of time. The duration of the visa is up to one year with an option to be extended to 3 years.
This political decision is driven by the idea to reduce unemployment among US passport holders. The issue here is that those positions are usually low paid and the interest in them is not enough to fill all the positions with the local workforce.