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Nasscom raises concerns over US govt latest proposal on H1-B visas

Monday, December 03, 2018

Nasscom has raised concerns over the US government's latest proposal that will require H1-B visa seeking firms to electronically register their petitions in advance, saying this will lead to "uncertainties" and could put US jobs at risk.

The IT industry body, in a statement, said it will carefully review the 139-page proposal and evaluate its implications for US companies and the economy, and then submit comments.

The Trump administration on Friday proposed major changes to the H-1B application process, including a new rule requiring companies to electronically register their petitions in advance, aimed at awarding this popular American work visa to the most skilled and highest paid foreign workers.

"...There is not much time between now and when the next H-1B lottery season opens in April 2019. Companies have already begun assessing their needs and planning their submissions for next year, so we are concerned about the uncertainties that could arise as the government seeks to implement another major change in the H-1B process during that timeframe," Nasscom said in a statement.

It added that it will review the proposal before submitting comments and "take other actions as appropriate to best ensure that the process makes sense, is fair, and does no harm".

The Department of Homeland Security said public comments on the proposed rule may be submitted starting December 3, when the proposed rule publishes in the Federal Register, and must be received on or before January 2.

"To the extent US policy makes it more difficult and costlier for global IT service companies to provide their expertise in the US, it will weaken the US companies that depend on them to help fill their skills gaps. Contrary to what is intended, this action could put US jobs at risk and create pressure to send more IT work abroad, rather than performing it in the US," Nasscom pointed out.

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