Suspension of H-1B visas and its impact

  • IASbaba
  • August 5, 2020
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Suspension of H-1B visas and its impact

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Foreign policies affecting India’s interests; Diaspora 


  • US President on June 23 suspended the H­1B visas, along with other types of foreign work visas, until the end of 2020 to protect American worker. 
  • Trump administration announced that it won’t tolerate firing of Americans for cheap foreign labour. 
  • This would be a major set back for the Indians as a majority of the H-1B visas were allotted to Indians. 

Impact on Indians 

  • Suspending H-1B and other work visas is likely to affect the movement of skilled professionals, and to have impact on Indian nationals and industry 
  • People-to-people linkages, as well as trade and economic cooperation in technology and innovation sectors, are an important dimension in the US-India partnership. 

According to a domestic rating agency –  

  • Suspension of the H1-B visas by the US will cost domestic IT firms Rs 1,200 crore and have a marginal 0.25-0.30 per cent impact on their profitability. 

What is a H-1B visa? 

  • The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations.  
  • A speciality occupation requires the application of a specialised knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or equivalent of work experience.  
  • The duration of a stay is three years and can be extended up to six years. Once this period is over, the visa holder will need to re-apply. 

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