by Lokesh Yadav
It is a lifelong dream for some people to work in the United States one day to pursue a better income and lifestyle. But not all immigrants have it easy to gain entry into the United States. It would help if you had a good reason and work opportunity to visit the United States on a work visa.
The H-1B Visa is what you need to acquire if you happen to be employed in the United States by an American employer. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United State., the H-1B visa is mandatory for non immigrant workers.
But, there are often many rumors and myths that go around about the H-1B visa. Especially now that Trump has brought about new changes in the visa policies, there is a lot of apprehension and uncertainty amongst those who planned to immigrate to the U.S. for work purposes.
To understand the policies about the H-1B visa, it is important to debunk some myths about it. So, here are a few Myths vs. Facts surrounding the H-1B visa, which are quite surprising.
Myth 1 – United States citizens lose their jobs permanently to non-immigrant workers
Fact – The H-1B visa is granted to those non-immigrants whose services are required in the United States. And the ones who are employed possess specialized skills. This type of visa is granted only for three years and can be extended upto 6 years. However, this visa then needs to be renewed to continue employment in the United States. So, this in no way means that the immigrant workers “snatch away” jobs from the Americans.
Myth 2 – You can apply for H-1B visas all year round
Fact – The fiscal year in the United States begins from 1st October annually. This is the date from which the annual cap on the application for H-1B visa begins. There is a regular cap of 65,000 visas to be granted in a year. But this cap has a few exceptions. One among them is the extra 20,000 H-1B visas. These extra ones are given if you have a postgraduate degree or a Ph.D. from an American educational institution. So if you want to apply for work to the United States in a particular year, you have to make sure you apply as early as April of every year when the application window opens to secure your spot in the selection process.
Myth 3 – Companies in the United States hire “cheap labor” instead of paying more to the American workers
Fact – The Brookings Institute from the United States has conducted a research, and they found that the holders of H-1B visas are paid more than the Americans who hold only a Bachelor’s Degree. This is because the immigrant laborers possess a much higher degree. And they earn their employment due to their expertise and irreplaceable skills. Moreover, the Department of Labor certifies the LCA (Labor Condition Application) to ensure that no american jobs are replaced with cheap labor.
Myth 4 – No fraud and abuse can be done under the pretext of an H-1B visa by the United States Employer
Fact – The process of working in the United States is a secure one right from the filing for a visa to its approval and working. The employers first need to attest an LCA, a Labour Condition Application certified by the Department of Labour. This attestation ensures that when he hires a non immigrant worker, it will not have any adverse effect on the United States worker’s employment opportunities. Also, to file an H-1B visa application, the employer needs to cash out a fair amount of money, so they need to be careful about it always. This argument is an outright lie in the face of non-immigrant who do not have the option to report violations and abuse by their employers. Since the employee loses their job and legal status if they fight against injustice. Due to the harsh reality of deportation and harassment by employers, large scale fraud and abuse continue to exist under the H-1B Visa program.
Myth 5 – Hiring foreigners through the H-1B visa is not detrimental to the economy of the United States
Fact – This myth is one of the most ironic and untrue ones. When companies in the United States hire foreign workers, replacing the local talents creates job loss and unemployment problems in various sectors for the qualified americans. This in turn slows down the country’s growth and development. Even though the United States is already a developed nation, the workforce from outside apart from outsourcing brings more trouble and costs to companies in making profits in the long run. The skill development and training the local talent is not happening or utilized in the spheres of innovation, and start-ups. This leads to lesser job opportunities for the citizens.
Indeed, the current structure and system of the H-1B visa is not very efficient. Nonetheless, it is victim to many myths that need to be busted with facts to spread awareness about them. With full knowledge about the working and granting of this visa, one can securely apply and fulfill their dream of being in the United States.