Arguing that limiting the number of H-1B visas would have an impact on global competitiveness of American firms, an influential Indo-US business advocacy group has called for expanding the number of the work visas granted to foreign technology professionals every year. “One of the areas where the US has to look at is H-1B. How do you expand that. By limiting the numbers (of H-1B visas), it does have an impact on the US companies. By making it expensive, it does have an impact on US companies,” said Mukesh Aghi, president of the US-India Business Council (USIBC).
Under Congressional-mandated existing laws, the United States every year grants 60,000 H-1B visas and another 20,000 to those foreign professionals who get higher degrees from a US university. This year the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received thousands of more applications than the number of H-1B visas it can grant, forcing it to decide on the successful applicants through a computerised draw of lots.
While H-1B is not a major issue this presidential election cycle, but New York-based Real Estate tycoon Donald Trump, who is leading Republican presidential polls, came out with recommendation to increase the salary for H-1B visas, which along with his other proposals would make it tough for US companies to hire foreign workers on H-1B visas. Indian technology professionals are one of the major beneficiaries of H-1B visas. For quite some time, leading US technology companies including Microsoft, Facebook and Google have been calling to do away with the limit on H-1B visas.