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Trump adminstration makes H1-B visa approval tough, Indian firms to be impacted

February 23, 2018 7:37 pm Category: FOCUS, SLIDER NEWS A+ / A-

Trump Immigration on meritUnder new rules, the employer will have to prove that its H-1B employee at a third-party worksite has specific & non-qualifying speculative assignments in specialty occupation.
The move will enable USCIS to issue H-1B visas to an employee only for the period for which he/she has worked at a third-party worksite.

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has announced a new policy that makes very tough the procedure of
issuing H-1B visas to those to be employed at one or more third-party worksites, a move that will hugely impact Indian IT companies and their employees.
Under the new policy, the company would have to go an extra length to prove that its H-1B employee at a
third-party worksite has specific and non-qualifying speculative assignments in a specialty occupation.
The H-1B programme offers temporary US visas that allow companies to hire highly skilled foreign
professionals working in areas with shortages of qualified American workers.

Indian IT companies, which are among the major beneficiaries of H-1B visas, has a significant number of its
employees deployed at third-party worksites. A significant number of American banking, travel and commercial
services depend on on-site IT workers from India to get their job done.
The new move announced yesterday through a seven-page policy empowers the US Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) to issue H-1B visas to an employee only for the period for which he/she
has worked at a third-party worksite.
The latest policy memorandum is a part of President Donald Trump’s ‘Buy American and Hire American
Executive Order’ and the directive to protect the interests of US workers, the USCIS said.
As such the issuing of H-1B visas could be of less than three years. This would reverse the tradition
of issuing the H-1B visas for three years at a time.
Effective immediately, the new guidance comes weeks ahead of the beginning of the H-1B visas filing
season, which is expected to be April 2, for the fiscal year 2019 beginning October 1, 2018.
The guidance says in order for an H-1B petition involving a third-party worksite to be approved, the
petitioner must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the beneficiary will be employed in a
specialty occupation and the employer will maintain an employer-employee relationship with the
beneficiary for the duration of the requested validity period.
When H-1B beneficiaries are placed at third-party worksites, the companies must demonstrate that they
have specific and non-speculative qualifying assignments in a specialty occupation for that
the beneficiary for the entire time requested on the petition.
While an H-1B petition may be approved for up to three years, the USCIS will, in its discretion,
generally, limit the approval period to the length of time demonstrated that the beneficiary will be
placed in non-speculative work and during which the petitioner will maintain the requisite employer-
employee relationship, an official statement said.
Extensions of H-1B visas have become even tougher, in particular, if the employee has been on a bench
for any part of their previous duration.
Sometimes American companies abruptly end the contract of an employee, as a result, the workers
temporarily do not have any work, which in IT parlance is called on the bench.
During this period, while they maintain their H-1B visas status, official investigations have revealed
that foreign IT workers on H-1B visas do not get paid, which the USCIS says is illegal and abuse of the
system.
“If an H-1B petitioner is applying to extend H-1B employment for a beneficiary who was placed at one or
more third-party worksites during the course of past employment with the same petitioner, that
petitioner should also establish that the H-1B requirements have been met for the entire prior approval
period,” the USCIS said.
And if these conditions are not met, and if the petitioner did not comply with the terms and conditions
of the original petition and did not file an amended petition on time, USCIS may have eligibility
concerns about a subsequent petition filed to extend the beneficiary’s employment, the policy
the memorandum said.

“Employment-based petitioners who circumvent the worker protections outlined in the nation’s
immigration laws not only injure US workers (eg their wages and job opportunities) but also the
foreign workers for whom they are petitioning,” it said.
Companies seeking H-1B visas for their employees working at a third-party site would now have an
intensive paperwork to file before submitting their applications.

This includes evidence of actual work assignments, which may include technical documentation, milestone
tables, marketing analysis, cost-benefit analysis, brochures, and funding documents.

The letter should provide information, such as a detailed description of the specialised duties the
beneficiary will perform, the qualifications required to perform those duties, the duration of the job,
salary or wages paid, hours worked, benefits, a detailed description of who will supervise the
beneficiary and the beneficiary’s duties, and any other related evidence, the USCIS said.

Trump adminstration makes H1-B visa approval tough, Indian firms to be impacted Reviewed by on . Under new rules, the employer will have to prove that its H-1B employee at a third-party worksite has specific & non-qualifying speculative assignments in s Under new rules, the employer will have to prove that its H-1B employee at a third-party worksite has specific & non-qualifying speculative assignments in s Rating: 0
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