Tougher H-1B norms open doors for India’s real talent

BENGALURU: The Trump administration’s move to make it tougher for entry-level computer programmers to use H-1Bs+ is an opportunity for India to send its more talented professionals on these visas to the US.

Already, entry-level programmers have become a small part of the total number of applicants for H-1Bs.

Official US data shows that computer programmers certified as eligible for H-1B in 2014 and 2015 were only about 12% of the total number of certified applicants in those years. And within the computer programmers’ category, about 41% were for positions at the lowest wage level, according to news agency Bloomberg. The lowest wage level is defined as jobs requiring people to perform routine tasks that require them to exercise little judgement on their own.

IT industry body Nasscom said on Tuesday that several of its member executives had noted recently that they are applying for visas for higher level professionals this year. This would suggest that the numbers of lower-level computer programmers would drop further. In the computer space itself, there are a number of higher level positions that include system analysts, software developers and network administrators.

Indian IT firms are the biggest users of H-1B+ , a non-immigrant visa that allows them to move employees to the US for long periods to work on custo mer projects. On March 31, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new memorandum that would require companies applying for H-1B visas for computer programming positions to submit additional evidence showing that the jobs are complex or specialized and require professional degrees. […]

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Tougher H-1B norms open doors for India’s real talent