H1B Visa: US proposes fee hike to help Americans

Washington: After bringing changes in H1B visas that has created a row for foreigners especially Indians having adverse effects on professional graduates from India, the Trump administration is now proposing a hike in the H-1B visa application fee.

According to sources, the fee hike is to increase funding for the expansion of an apprentice programme, which trains American youths in technology-related activities said labour secretary Alexander Acosta.

Though the Department of Labour has mentioned about the fee hike, Acosta did not give details of the proposed increase in the fee hike in H1B filing.

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Now Indian IT companies are likely to face additional financial burden because of this new proposed fee hike.

Previously the Trump administration has argued and maintained that foreigners are hurting American workers by competing for jobs and driving down wages instead of Americans bringing new reforms to the existing H1B visa programme.

“In FY 2020, the Department’s budget includes $160 million to continue our expansion of apprenticeship programmes, along with a proposal to increase H-1B fee revenues to fund additional apprenticeship activities,” Acosta said in his testimony on May 2 before the Senate Appropriations Committee — Subcommittee on Labour, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.

The labor secretary has also had mentioned that the Department of Labour had last year launched the first-ever sector-based apprenticeship grant funding opportunity to invest $150 million to expand apprenticeships in those in-demand industry sectors that are usually filled by individuals on H-1B visas, such as information technology, health care and advanced manufacturing.

“As a result of this private sector match requirement, educators have a greater incentive to join with industry to ensure curricula address the needs of our ever-changing workplace, investing in the latest technologies and techniques, and providing more in-demand opportunities for Americans,” Acosta said.

“Let’s put our citizens first and protect US workers and wages. Hard-working and highly-skilled American men and women share their stories about H-1B visa fraud and abuse,” Congressman Paul Gosar said.

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