H-1B: Indian companies, students to lose out with higher wage rules

New Delhi / Mumbai: The Trump administration is trying hard to fulfil its ‘protectionist’ agenda before January 20 when the President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

In a develoment, the US department of labour introduced final wages rules, hiking the existing wages for those working in the US on H-1B visas or job-based green cards.

To be published in the federal register on January 14, the Trump administration’s new rule will hike the wages for foreign workers. "The final rule contains significant prevailing wage increases for all four wage levels, though the new minimums are not as high as initially sought by DOL. The rule also provides a multi-year ter at Fragomen, a global immigration law firm told media.

The rule changes the H-1B selection process for the 85,000, annually allotted H-1B visas from a random selection to one based on wages.

Foreign students will be badly hit by the new selection process as most of the qualifying foreign students are sponsored for Level 1, H-1B positions. The USCIS claims the changes promulgated in the new rule will not affect foreign students because they will have time during their OPT status to gain experience taking them to a higher wage level. However, only STEM students may qualify for three years of OPT.

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