The American society is one of the most talked about, one of the most popularized, and one of the most fascinating societies in the world. America is the land of dreams, or so is portrayed by most of the Hollywood movies. There is something about the American system that attracts people. Which brings us to the H-1B Visa, a way which allows nonimmigrants to go to the United States of America and work for American employers. The whole process is governed by the USCIS or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The advent of the Trump administration brought a lot of things with it, with the restrictions on H-1B Visa permits. Recently, there was a new addition to this policy that basically suspended the option of premium processing of all H-1B Visa applications. As a result, this will lead to a gigantic impact on the ‘cap-gap’ of foreign students. Furthermore, this will also affect the hiring plans of the American based employers that were looking forward to hiring H-1B Visa employees. The thing to understand here is that with the suspension of the premium processing feature, the foreign employees that are dependent H-1B Visa cannot commence their work for their respective employers before the span of around 6 months. Without the availability of premium processing that takes only about 15 days to get acceptance, regular processing would take for about over 6 months to get approval. And even that is not guaranteed, thanks to the newly imposed restrictions on H-1B Visa applications.
That is indeed a very good question. What happens now? The trump administration had an agenda when it started election campaigns back in the year 2016. The agenda was to make America great again. Now, the case in point, the restrictions imposed on the approval of H-1B Visa applications are directed toward the implementation of the ‘make America great again’ plans. The idea is to make American companies and business houses hire American people for jobs in order to give those jobs to the American citizens.
Sushma Swaraj, the external affairs minister of India requested Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State to go for a balanced as well as a sensitive approach to the whole H-1B Visa fiasco. The end game boils down to the facts that it is up to the United States whether the restrictions imposed on the premium processing of H-1B Visa applications will be removed or not.
Truth be told, that seems to be really farfetched. Initially, the imposed restrictions were only limited to 10th September 2018. However, these have been extended till 19th February 2019. These updates were released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
For those who do not know, the ‘cap-gap’ is essentially the difference between the end of the F-1 Visa and the start of the H-1B Visa. International students need the F-1 Visa in order to travel to the United States for study. When their education ends, they are allowed an extension of OPT or optional practical training. OPT allows them to work in the United States of America. Students who have finished their education in the fields of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering are granted an additional term of 24 months in their OPT.
The entire scenario has become a little tricky. You see, as far as the present fiscal year is concerned, American employers had to send job offers before 1st April and then had to file applications for the H-1B Visa within the first week of April if they wanted to be even considered to be in the H-1B Visa lottery. In case the submitted application got selected, students with an F-1 Visa that got expired after 1st April will be allowed to have a job meanwhile their application gets reviewed by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. This period of time is termed as the ‘cap-gap’. However, in the case that the application for the H-1B Visa does not get approved by 1st October, the student has to stop working with immediate effect and wait until the H-1B Visa gets approved.
The issue here is that there is no point in letting the employer as well as the workers hanging for more than 6 months just to get their H-1B applications rejected. The suspension of the premium processing of H-1B Visa applications is doing exactly the same thing.
Long story short, in the case, that these applications get rejected, the students will have to stay in the United States without any sort of income, without health insurance, and without any security. They will eventually have to choose between leaving the country and returning back to their homes or support themselves somehow without the support of the State.
They say that science is the engine of prosperity. A much-understated statement, many would say. We really do not appreciate the contributions of science in our daily lives to the extent that we should. Science is everything around us. Things starting from the steam engines used during the industrial revolution to the power tools used in construction to the electric cars in the market to the smartphone in your hand, everything is science. Today we live amidst the information revolution. The revolution that gave birth to the World Wide Web, social media, and recently, net neutrality. The United States has a huge role to play in this revolution. Apparently, it is the center of this movement.
However, this information revolution has a flaw, a big one indeed. Even the popular American theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku stated that the American information revolution has a big loophole. The loophole is the American education system. The American education system is nothing but a big factory that produces dummies with practically no skill and aptitude for the real world. The United States of America has the most detrimental educational system that is known to the scientific society. The graduates that come out of educational institutions of the United States compete at the level of most third world countries on a regular basis. This may make one think why the whole system does not end up in a collapse. That is a very valid question, to be honest. There is a whole generation of people in America that is being raised watching reality shows and network television. Kim Kardashian’s latest outfit has more viewers than documentaries about evolution and existence. The answer to the above-mentioned question is the H1B Visa.
Without the existence of the H1B Visa, the very foundation of the American civilization would collapse. The famous Silicon Valley would cease to exist if it were not due to the presence of the H1B Visa. Many also term it as the ‘genius Visa’. H1B allows people from other counties to come and work in the United States on a temporary basis for American employers. The matter of the fact is that a huge majority of the Ph.D. candidates are from foreign counties like India and China. The United States of America is like this giant magnet that sucks in all the global talent that there is. But the tables are slowly turning now. Today, there is a Silicon Valley in the Republic of China and India. One would think how that is possible. Well, it is quite simple. It came from the United States.
In a recent standoff between a United States Congressman and the coveted Wall Street Journal, the WS Journal printed an editorial section that said that the Congressman’s intentions to ban the H1B Visa in order to ‘protect’ the right of Americans to jobs in companies is nothing but a combination of misinformation and foolishness. The Wall Street Journal stated that there are simply no Americans that could replace the Indians and the Chinese that work in science and technology firms in the United States. The jobs of concern are the most elite positions in the top corporations. In fact, these H1B Visa employees do not just take up jobs but instead make way for entire industries.
There is certainly no more need to emphasize the importance of the H1B Visa in the overall picture of American growth and development. Ceasing or even temporarily halting the H1B Visa processes can contribute to the ultimate collapse of the American way of living. America needs more and more engineers, physicists, and technicians who are eventually going to create more Silicon Valleys. The Trump administration has put a stop to the premium processing of the H1B Visa applications as well as made the whole approval process stricter in order to force the American companies to choose from the local talent available. The point of this discussion was to focus on the importance of the H1B Visa from the perspective of American development.
That is something that remains to be seen. The taken steps, despite having short-term effects, cannot be deemed successful or otherwise until the long-term effects start being visible. It is simply too early to judge the decision. However, it is sure that the American system will have a drastic change in term of the way it works.
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