The US House of Representatives tabled a Bill on Tuesday that could potentially deliver a big blow to Indian IT firms. If the bill is passed, it would require a minimum annual salary of USD 130,000 for people to get hold of H1B visas, which is more than double the current minimum salary of USD 60,000.
The Bill is a part of President Trump’s new immigration policy and will make it tougher for Indian IT companies to send their professionals to the US and discourage American companies from hiring foreign workers. It will also impact Indians working in Silicon Valley as they might lose their jobs if they fail to meet the minimum salary criteria.
Soon after the potential legislation made the news, social media was flooded with a flurry of reactions. Most of them criticized the move, calling it the end of the ‘American dream’ for Indians.
US Visa restrictions on h1B, students work restrictions are a huge opportunity for India. Can we rise up to the occassion?— Chandru (@ChandrusWeb) January 31, 2017
One user expressed doubt as to whether the changed rules would apply to existing H1B visa holders as well.
Some however, were more optimistic and said that this was an opportunity to bring back Indians to develop indigenous IT industry.
There were also questions about why Indian techies in the US were paid less, when they could be paid more.
The stock markets took its worst plunge in several months after the proposed change in visa rules. All major IT companies like Infosys, TCS, HCL, Tech Mahindra etc have been severely affected.
Indians account for over 70% of H1B visa holders in the US, and in just 2016, over a million such visas were issued to Indians.
Earlier, Trump stirred controversy by imposing a travel ban from seven countries, all of them with Muslim majority population.
As a mark of protest against this travel ban, Twitter's live-streaming app Periscope updated its loading screen with a small text that reads "Proudly made in America by immigrants".
(With IANS inputs)