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New York: US President Donald Trump has suspended until the tip of the 12 months the H-1B visas prized by Indian professionals and introduced a far-reaching reform plan that would deal a blow to Indian firms that place know-how employees in US firms.

The freeze ordered by Trump on Monday won’t have an effect on these already within the US on the H-1B and the opposite work visa classes being placed on pause.

Making the announcement, the White House stated that Trump desires to reform the immigration system to a “merit-based” one.

Briefing reporters concerning the reform plan, a senior official stated that considered one of its options would ban firms from bringing in staff on H-1B visas and outplace them to work in different US firms.

Many Indian — and a few US — firms that act as subcontractors sponsoring employees on H-1B visas and deputing them as soon as they’re within the US to work elsewhere may see their enterprise mannequin hit.

The official stated that one other reform would change the best way the 85,000 annual H-1B visas are given from the present lottery system to one the place the wages will decide who will get them.

Those provided essentially the most wages will get precedence as a substitute of these hitting “a lucky number” within the lottery, the official stated.

Indians are the only largest group of H1-B visa-holders accounting for almost 74 per cent of the work visas.

The official stated that Trump desires the wage construction for H-1B visas to be modified from the present one set through the administration of former President Bill Clinton, and the brand new minimal would be the 50th percentile of the nationwide revenue.

That is the median revenue or the center of the vary and is at the moment $63,000, in accordance to the Census .

The official stated that Trump desires the modifications made as quickly as doable “will do so by regulation as soon as we possibly can.”

When Trump imposed a 60-day pause on everlasting immigrant visas or inexperienced playing cards on April 22, the H-1B and different non permanent work visas escaped the freeze however are actually affected.

The inexperienced card restrictions, which don’t apply to spouses and kids of immigrants, may also now proceed till the tip of the 12 months.

The White House announcement of the brand new freeze stated that it will additionally embody H-2B, H-4, L-1 and J-1 visas.

However, these within the healthcare subject and people thought of essential for nationwide safety will likely be exempt and proceed to obtain visas, as will farmworkers and nannies.

The White House linked the freeze to the excessive unemployment degree within the US due to the COVID-19 blow to the economic system saying that the pause is to “ensure we continue putting American workers first during our ongoing coronavirus recovery.”

The official stated the pause would assist employees already within the nation get entry to greater than 525,000 jobs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has change into a justification for Trump’s longtime intent to limit immigration, a requirement of part of his base as effectively as of some within the Democratic Party who’ve reservations concerning the affect of immigration on wages.

The financial disruption brought on by the pandemic has led to a groundswell of opposition amongst Americans to immigration and international employees with numerous polls exhibiting greater than two-thirds supporting restrictions.

On the opposite hand, US companies — significantly within the Silicon Valley — have opposed restrictions on the visas and asserted that they might, in truth, have an effect on the nation’s economic system, the place immigrants and people on work visas have disproportionately been founders of firms, moreover holding up America’s international management in know-how.

The Indian authorities considers restrictions on H-1B an essential problem and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated in December that he had instructed US officers that the visas “should not be obstructed” or “unreasonable legislative provisions should not constrain” them.

H-2B visas are for non-professional employees. An exemption is be made for agricultural labour on this class on whom the US meals provide relies upon, the official stated.

Similarly, within the J-1 class nannies or au pairs — who’re employed by the elite throughout the political spectrum — are exempt, whereas it will apply to students and researchers besides these in sure well being or specialised fields or are professors.

The H-4 visas are for spouses of H-1B employees and the restrictions are linked.

Employees transferred by their firms to work within the US are given L-1 visas.

Under new guidelines introduced on Monday by the immigration service, asylum candidates can not apply for work authorisation for a 12 months as a substitute of the present 150 days.

Explaining the rationale for the proposed reforms to the H-1B visa system, the official stated that final 12 months there have been 225,000 candidates for the 85,000 slots and the lottery decided who obtained them.

The candidates with the highest 85,000 wage provides would get the H-1B visas within the change to a system primarily based on revenue.

Basing the visas on the very best wages provided will assist decide who will contribute essentially the most to the US economic system, the official stated.

The official stated, “This will drive both the wage level and the skill level of the H-1B applicants up. It will eliminate competition with Americans, it will reduce American competition in these industries at the entry-level, and will do more to get the best and the brightest.”

Regarding the proposal to ban outplacement, the official gave the examples of Disney or AT&T the place subcontracting firms despatched in employees who “end up displacing American workers.”

The official stated that these two firms “infamously had their American citizen employees training their H-1B replacements as their last act” earlier than being laid off.