Some really serious efforts are now made in the USA to safeguard the interests of native Americans regarding their job opportunities. A new bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives calling for the following measures to be implemented to solve 2 important issues. The bill has a profound effect on H1B visa. The reforms the bill is suggesting are:
- Put an end to Optional Practical Training which allows international UG/graduate students in the USA doing/having done courses in the country for 1 academic year to stay and work in USA for a year on a student visa.
- Proposing to set a wage floor for H1B visa that’s equal to the higher end wages paid to an American worker for the same position or $110,000.
The issue with OPT
Optional Practical Training has been found to help big-tech companies to benefit from the opportunity to recruit foreign students for cheaper wages. Any foreign student with a degree in any field is eligible for OPT. Moreover, STEM students get an extension of 17 months since April 2008.
This reduces the chances of American students to find jobs and is now said to pose a risk to their employment opportunities in the USA. The new bill seeks to make big-tech companies more accountable. By scrapping OPT, the ground will be leveled where the profit-driven mentality of American companies won’t create an unfair atmosphere for Americans in the US job market.
Changes in H1B visa policy
Along with seeking to scrap OPT, the bill also seeks to set a higher wage floor for international workers. Visas will be prioritized to be granted to employers who pay higher wages. This will limit the ability of big-tech firms to enter into employment contracts with third-party workers.
The bill will reduce the validity of visas to workers with an H1B visa with sponsorship from a third party to 1 year in place of 3 years as has been the norm till now.
The passing of the new bill could create the necessity for foreigners to gain more awareness and practice more caution when going for an H1B visa.
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