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New H-1B curbs

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

New H-1B curbs:


The United States has issued new rules that make it harder for US companies to employ people on H-1B non-immigrant visas.

The Interim Final Rules change:

  • The definitions of specialty occupation, employer and employee-employer relationship.
  • Limit visa validity to one year for a worker at a third-party work site.
  • Increases enforcement and investigations for these visas.

Concerns for India:

The new rules will impact Indian services and staffing firms who often place workers on projects at third-party locations.

  • Indian nationals have received over 70% of the H-1B visas issued over the last few years, even as the share of Indian tech companies in the top 10 visa recipients has been dropping steadily in favour of American tech companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon.

Why should the US be worried about these changes?

The changes will restrict access to talent and harm the American economy.

They would also endanger U.S. jobs, put U.S. interests at risk and slow down R&D into solutions for COVID-19 crisis.


What are H-1B, H-2B, L and other work visas?

In order to fill a vacuum of highly-skilled low-cost employees in IT and other related domains, the US administration issues a certain number of visas each year which allows companies from outside the US to send employees to work on client sites.

  1. H-1B: Person is Specialty Occupation: To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree of its equivalent.
  2. L1 visas allows companies to transfer highly skilled workers to US for a period of up to seven years.
  3. H-2B visas allow food and agricultural workers to seek employment in the US.
  4. J-1 Visas: It is for students on work-study summer programmes.


Prelims Link:

  1. Differences between H1B, F1 and M1 Visas.
  2. Difference between an NRI and an OCI cardholder.
  3. When OCI and PIO were merged?
  4. The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 grants citizenship to?
  5. Constitutional provisions related to citizenship in India.

Mains Link:

Discuss the impact of recent changes in US visa rules on Indian students in the US.

Sources: the Hindu.