Relief for Indian IT sector, US H1B visa wage hikes for techies will not get implemented soon

Relief for Indian IT sector, US H1B visa wage hikes for techies will not get implemented soon

India News

The proposal in the US Congress to increase the wages of the H-1B visa holders from the current level of $60,000 to $90,000 with a view to prevent the outsourcing of American jobs, has to pass several stages before it can become a law. The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act introduced by the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet Subcommittee chairman Darrell Issa is in the Congress. After the discussion, it has to be passed by the House, then the Senate, and finally, it has to get the nod from the President before it becomes law. The Indian IT industry is heavily dependent on H-1B visas to execute their projects in the US and the current Bill, introduced in the US Congress, has the potential to impact companies if it gets enacted as law. “The purpose of this Act is to close a loophole in the H-1B visa programme by requiring H-1B-dependent employers once again to pay sufficiently high wages to ensure the protection of the workforce in the US and to remove other impediments to proper H-1B visa enforcement,” it said. Justifying the need to increase the base level of wages of H-1B visas to $90,000, the Congress proposal states that “the $60,000 figure, when enacted in 1998, was higher than the wage paid to the average American worker in fields, such as computer science. Since the $60,000 level has never been adjusted for inflation, it is now little more than half of what the average American worker makes”. The Bill also prohibits H-1B dependent employers in the US from replacing American workers with H-1B employees while adding that the Bill also strengthens the Department of Labour’s enforcement arsenal to ensure that H-1B dependent employers abide by the rules.