With US President Trump continuing the ban on new H-1B visas until March 31, the wait for Indian tech people seeking jobs in the US has been growing longer. The suspension was due to expire on December 31, but yet another order was signed by Trump to continue it for a further three months.
Although under Trump, the current US administration claims that this very step was appropriate to benefit millions of Americans. Because of the recent economic downturn, many Americans already lost their jobs, market analysts say the suspension could be limited in scope with President-Elect Joe Biden expected to reconsider it shortly after coming to office.
“Prior to the US elections and during the campaign, Biden had released documents indicating plans to increase the number of high-skilled visas, including the H-1B, and eliminate the limit on employment-based visas by country. The Democrats have generally been more open about allowing high skilled talent from other countries,” a senior executive at an Indian IT services company said.
Complete Lack of Homegrown Talent In The US:
The decision to ban H-1B, according to industry experts, is based on a mistaken assumption that it would deter Indians and Chinese from stealing Jobs in the US, while highly qualified tech jobs are currently vacant in the US due to a complete lack of homegrown talent.
Even though there is no doubt that, over the last 2 decades, Indian IT service providers and engineering grads have been the largest recipients of the H-1B visa program, the reality is because there are not enough US people with the requisite STEM skills for jobs available.
The latest analysis by a think-tank created by former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry M Paulson showed that just 20% of the world’s leading scientists in artificial intelligence come from the US. An overview of the National Foundation for American Policy’s Current Population Survey of the Bureau of Labour Statistics notes that there are many more than 6,25,000 active work openings advertised online for positions in common computer professions in the 30-day reporting period ending May 13, 2020, including those particularly common to H-1B visa holders. At the very same point, the computer profession unemployment rate declined from 3 percent in Jan-2020 to 2.5 percent in May-2020.
The decision by Trump to continue the ban will generate short-term instability for Indian technology companies and American workers betting on top and international talent. As they recruit more American citizens and allow US graduates to reskill with necessary qualifications for IT outsourcing jobs, there is no big impact on Indian IT service companies.
Poorvi Chothani, founder and managing partner of LawQuest, an immigration law firm, said the ban would affect individuals who have accepted H-1B petitions and could’ve been granted H-1B visas starting from October 2020 onwards.