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Now, Trump administration wants to hike H1-B visa fees to train Americans in technology

Now, Trump administration wants to hike H1-B visa fees to train Americans in technology
  • The US Labour Secretary said that they are proposing a H1-B visa fee hike to the Senate.
  • The current cost of H1-B visa can range from $1,600 to $7,000 after the last hike in December 2016.
  • H1-B visa fee increase will affect top IT companies like TCS, Infosys and Wipro.
Within three years of doubling the H1-B visa application fees, the US administration is considering yet another hike, which will affect the top IT companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, and Wipro in India.

In a testimony to a Congressional Committee, US Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta said [hyperlink] that they are proposing a hike in this visa application fees, and the money obtained will be used to fund an apprentice programme to train the country’s youth in technology.

Acosta however did not mention the extent of the hike, and has not mentioned the categories where this increased fee will be applicable. After the last hike made during the Barack Obama administration, the visa filing fee has varied between $1,600 and going up as high as $7,000, depending on the application.

During the last change in December 2016, the government altered the fees for companies which have more than 50 employees or more than 50% of its staff working in the US. This made life tougher for tech majors from India.

Indian IT companies form the biggest chunk of applicants for the non-immigrant H1-B visa that allows foreign workers to gain employment in the country, in occupations that require expertise.

The higher revenue from the hike in H1-B visas will go into expanding the number of activities under the apprentice programme, Acosta told US Congressmen. For the current fiscal year, The Trump administration has budgeted $160 million to expand its apprentice programme.

Any change in this regard will affect the already dwindling visa applications by Indian IT companies. In the last few years, the number of visa approvals has also gone down by half.

Hire American policies

Soon after Donald Trump came into power, he signed the Buy American and Hire American Executive order which seeks to increase employment rates for its workers, and increase their wages. This is to be done by the way of rigorously enforcing and administering their immigration laws. The government has been following a three point agenda to aid their workers---via rulemaking, policies and making operational changes.

Adding to the hurdles, the government has also disallowed these companies to move visa holders from one client to another, making life tougher for large outsourcing companies.

SEE ALSO:
US Immigration is denying more H1-B visas than ever before — without notice or authority

The UAE government is wooing Indian teachers — offering 10 times higher pay than their current


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