Good News for Indians in United States

 

Immigration Nationality Act of 1952, the President of the United States has the authority to prohibit admission for “any class of aliens” in to the country that is considered to be “detrimental to the interest of the United States” for any period of time. For enabling the President to ensure this, the federal law gives him / her broad authority to enforce immigration law as well as regulatory leeway in the form of policy recommendations and executive actions.

 

The President could use prosecutorial powers to intensify scrutiny of employers who have employed international workers or businesses  pursuing foreign investments with the promise of a green card.

 

The biggest fear India has is related to the curtailment of the H-1B program (the most popular work visa used by Indian engineers in the U.S today). While Trump would need an act of Congress to substantially raise the qualification standard for an H-1B visa or to lower the annual cap for the same, he could use his executive power to tighten up rules to make the process more painful for the visa applicants. It is evident that Trump is certainly going to step up investigation of programs such as H-1B of which India is the highest beneficiary, and is therefore very likely to ban more employers who have violated H-1B rules as part of the process. It is going to be a hard political argument to make that Indian immigrants are being discriminated on the H-1B policy. In this context, what is of utmost importance for Indian companies in the U.S is to strictly follow the immigration rules. On the other hand india needs to work on issues such as the totalization treaties and the 50 / 50 rule.

 

Debating on the EB-5 program (An investment program that assures an investor and his family green cards if made an investment of $500,000 in the country). This is up for renewal on December 31 and likely to go up considerably.  Hence the EB-5 stakeholders, though they feel that there may be a tougher stand in some aspects of the immigration program, are very confident of the continuance of this (EB-5) program. President will think twice about turning his back on a program that has been proven to create and support jobs around the country. Note that according to IIUSA, between FY2010 to FY2013, the EB-5 program supported 19,395 and 17,161 jobs in California and New York respectively. Overall, during that period, the program supported an average of 29,300 jobs each year.

Anu Peshawaria

Anu Peshawaria

Anu Peshawaria

Anu Peshawaria

 

In addition to this, there exists programs such as L1-A (Intra-company transfer from overseas company to the U.S) that are still open for India that can go very far in establishing your business and immigrating successfully with very little investment.

 

Regarding the student community, though I feel they will continue to be wooed by the U.S universities although the conversion into green cards may get tougher.

 

I earnestly urge my fellow Indians to carefully consider the above points on the alternate visa options while planning for immigrating to the U.S in future. Since executive action and policy memorandum are significant aspects that can change the flow of things in a dynamic way, I also recommend Indian businesses and individuals to stay in touch with a competent lawyer who understands both the Indian and the U.S systems and is capable of guiding you through the best choices for your company.

And, just before I conclude, here are a few thoughts based on the most recent developments that I would like to share with my Indian friends that may help them gain inspiration:

  • Indian workers actually help drive innovation. Note that it was the immigrants who were involved in the founding of many prominent American high-tech companies such as Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Sun Microsystems, and eBay!
  • Immigrants holding H-1B visas are ready to work for lesser wages. This (immigrant workers driving down wages) will pose a real threat for the U.S forcing the U.S workers to work for less.
  • According to the key findings of a recent analysis by U.S News/Raytheon (The STEM Index), the U.S will be dependent on foreign workers to fill future STEM jobs! The report also points to the increase in STEM degrees granted and STEM jobs and salaries.

 

  • Since the American universities produce a majority of STEM graduates and most of these being immigrant students, any change in the student immigration law may directly impact the universities’ limit intake of foreign students.
  • As expected, there is a clash within republicans (the business and populist wings of the party) over the nation’s system of legal immigration. This battle could prove to be as divisive as the fight over illegal immigrants. As we know, illegal and legal immigration are two different things.

Anu Peshawaria, Esq (President of The Anu Attorney Law Group, PLCC based in Seattle, Washington) is an award-winning U.S Immigration Attorney. She is also an Indian Supreme Court Lawyer. She is the younger sister of Dr. Kiran Bedi who is presently the Lt. Governor of Pondicherry.

 

There were a lot of high tech companies as well as well as top business houses who had a lot of questions about immigration cases that were getting denied. Overall

It was a very interactive and a useful session.