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H-1B visa row: Dismal Indian students say USA no more a ‘land of opportunities’

H-1B visa row: Dismal Indian students say USA no more a ‘land of opportunities’

New York: As uncertainty looms regarding the latest developments on approval of the H-1B visa, Indian students in the United States have expressed their concern about non-approval of a work permit, stating that the lack of clarity is only increasing their anxiety.

Under U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, there was a motion passed for more stringent laws to be implemented with regards to issuing H-1B visas to foreign nationals, which permit them to take up job in the States.

Earlier this year, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India’s concerns about the US’ H-1B visa policy under the new administration have been conveyed to the US.

Swarup’s comments came in the wake of the legislation mandating that the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders be increased to $130,000 from $60,000, was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congressman Zoe Lofgren.

According to an Indian student pursuing Masters at the New York University (NYU), one of the biggest concerns is the proposed hike in minimum salary required to apply for an H-1B visa.

“Rumours have surfaced of an increase in minimum salary to be around USD 1, 30, 000. Most companies do not offer such a huge amount when it’s your first job, whichever industry it may be. Filing visa applications during this financial year does not seem possible at the minute. Students and tourists will have to think twice before coming here,” the student told ANI here.

Echoing a similar opinion, another Indian student pursuing her Masters at Parsons School of Design claimed that with the current political situation, students are not likely to consider moving to the States to pursue their education or career.

“At this point in time, students are feeling more welcomed in countries like Japan, Australia and Canada. The stability being offered in these countries is being considered by students looking to study or work abroad,” she stated.

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security released memos regarding the implementation of two of the President’s executive orders, designed to protect the homeland.

These two memos provide explicit guidance to DHS staff on how to carry out two executive orders signed by the President on January 25th — one dealing with interior enforcement and one with border security.

Trump had taken a hard line against illegal immigration during his campaign, at times suggesting he would seek to create a nationwide ‘deportation force’ to expel as many of the nation’s estimated 11 million unauthorised immigrants as possible.

The new guidelines, intended as a road map toward implementing a pair of executive actions Trump signed last month, call for the hiring of thousands of additional enforcement agents, expanding the pool of immigrants who are prioritised for removal, speeding up deportation hearings and enlisting local law enforcement to help make arrests.

Experts say that if passed, the new visa legislation will make it very difficult for American companies to use H-1B visas to hire foreign workers, including IT professionals from India. (ANI)