Onerous Conditions on New H-1B Bill, Nasscom Says

The proposed new Protect and Grow New American Jobs US bill is filled with onerous conditions, placing unprecedented obligations on both clients who use H-1B US visas, and Indian IT firms, according to software body, Nasscom. Nasscom says their concerns about the US visa issues have been raised with Congressmen, Senators, and the Trump administration in the US and that further dialogue over the proposed legislation is expected during the next few weeks.

The new bill proposes restrictions to prevent the misuse and abuse of H-1B US visas, tightening the definition of companies that are dependent on such visas, and imposing fresh restrictions on the movement of workers and minimum salary.

As well as prescribing higher minimum wages, the new bill puts the onus on clients for certifying that an existing employee is not being put off work for 5-6 years by the US visa holder. The President of the National Association for Software and Services Companies, R Chandrashekhar, says the conditions are not only onerous but also make it difficult for people to get the US visa and to judge how to use it.

The House Judiciary Committee has already passed the bill and it is expected to go before the US Senate early in the New Year. Chandrashekhar said that he is extremely concerned the bill appears to apply only to companies’ dependent on US visas, such as Indian firms.