The ‘Buy American, Hire American’ policy of US President Donald Trump has consequences for the Chinese and Indian IT workers who come in droves to the US as the salary differences between continents are huge.
The increased scrutiny of the White House Administration on the H1B visas, for specialized skilled workers, being issued by the US (of which up to 70 percent go to Asian nationals) means that many Indian and Chinese IT workers see their dreams now go up in smoke.
An IT industry insider admitted that nearly 70% of all applications are now being sent through the dreaded request for evidence (RFEs) process, whilst in the past, some 90 percent of the applications were approved straight away as US companies needed IT-workers as soon as possible and didn’t bother checking that much.
The focus has now shifted to training American IT-workers.
Mr. Shivendra Singh, the president of the industry body representing Indian IT service companies abroad, stated: "We have seen the pressure increasing both from the administration side as well as the legislative side. We have seen many executive orders including the 'Buy American, Hire American' which came way back in March 2017."
"The proposed changes to the H1B's lottery system, which talks about being granted on wage levels or education or changes to the spouse visa, or third-party placements looking at employer-employee relationships and asking for more documentation is quite negative and increases paperwork."
"This is not to say that our companies don’t follow the right process of law. But this only increases bureaucracy without really making any difference to the value. Think of it that all these come at a time when Indian companies are hiring more than 100,000 local employees and making a substantial investment in the US."
Of course, the Indian industry heads themselves state it might be good that the ‘brain drain’ of seeing its most skilled workers leave, a process which had been going on for a decade, will slowly come down to more reasonable levels.