Since the outbreak of the news that Mr. Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America is planning to limit the number of H1B visas by changing the policy, there has been a huge ruckus and chaos over social media and tech forums. Let me tell you this, I have gone through the points that has been ‘predicted’ to be a part of Mr. Trump’s proposal, and I don’t think there should be any huge problem over this. I am trying to be neutral here and I am not supporting or talking against/for any political parties or person concerned. I am just trying to analyze the situation in every way, and come up with explanations, as I too am a foreign worker in the US.
So let’s go through them one by one:
1. The proposal aims to limit the OPT period of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs to 12 months instead of 36 months.
The OPT period enables a foreign student studying in the US to work for 12 months (if you are not a STEM student) and around 36 months (if you are a STEM student) without a work visa. Once you get an H1B you can work for 3 years. So basically the problem now is that the students who are doing their studies under STEM program will need to work harder and try to get a job and an H1B visa within 12 months. I don’t want to sound arrogant here, but if a non-STEM student can work hard and find a job in 12 months and get himself/herself a sponsorship within those 12 months, why can’t a STEM student try and do the same?
2. The proposal is ‘predicted’ to focus only on highly specialized candidates, and for doing that the policy aims to set the minimum salary bar to a much higher level.
The H1B Visas were originally designed to get the best brains into the US to help the economy grow, and import talent which were not easily available in the US. Eventually the visa system started to be abused by “H1B consultancies” which frame fake resumes to get thousands of students into the H1B lottery system. This abuse led to:
- Very scantily paid H1B candidates.
- Securing H1B became completely out of luck if you get sponsored by a company, and not out of merit. So companies found it exceedingly difficult to find meritorious students, and when they got talent, they were not sure if their employees could secure a visa.
- The meritorious students were not given a fair chance, because now quantity took over quality.
With this ‘predicted’ policy, meritorious students who are highly skilled, will get a chance to be a part of a great economy with a decent pay package. ‘Quality’ will take over ‘Quantity’. When quality increases, innovation takes place, and the health of the economy becomes more competitive and productive.
3. With this ‘predicted’ proposal, luck will come with excellence and hard work.
With the limited information that has been shared all over the internet till now, I can only say that with this ‘predicted’ policy one will get an H1B visa only if he/she really deserves one. It will not be the luck game any longer. It will come to you because of your hard work, talent, and excellence. Mediocrity will not be entertained.
Possible problems that this ‘predicted’ policy if passed can bring to the US economy are as follows:
- Fewer students will come to study to the United States, as there will be a possible lack of trust among students to get a return on investment for their degree. This will further lead to a reduced income from foreign nationals for the US.
- Lack of diversity can make the economy weak at the bottom. For example, in the present scenario if a company is sponsoring a foreign national for an entry-level job, it won’t/ can’t do it any longer after the policy is passed. Because of this reason, even if a foreign candidate is exceptionally credible/competitive, his/her job would might be taken up by an American candidate who is comparatively not as credible. This can seriously weaken the foundation of the economy. You can have an excellent top-tier management with high skilled workers, but if your foundation is not strong, it will collapse in the long run.
- The notion of “America is a land of opportunity” will no longer stand right.
- To hire highly specialized candidates, the companies now will have to invest more resources to search for talent outside the US which could increase the cost to the firm.
Arnab Pandey is a capital markets professional, an entrepreneur, a nationally awarded debater, an internationally acclaimed researcher, and a passionate blogger. He holds an MBA (Finance) degree from the Sykes College of Business at The University of Tampa, Florida. He procured his under-graduate (Bachelor of Technology) degree in the field of applied mechanics….. Read More