Google CEO on H1-B: Sundar Pichai said he was disappointed with the announcement made by US President Donald Trump that work visa are suspended till the end of 2020, adding that Google will continue to stand with immigrants work to improve opportunity for everyone.
“Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all,” Pichai tweeted.
Google CEO on H1-B –
His tweet came hours after President Trump released a declaration banning work visas for categories like H-1B, H-2B, L, and J until the end of 2020. “The entry of additional workers through the H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrant visa programs, presents a significant threat to employment opportunities for Americans affected by the extraordinary economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak,” the White House stated. However, the suspension will not affect those already in the US on these visas.
H-1B visa is one of the most commonly used US-bound Indian techies employment visas. Global tech giants such as Google and Microsoft, as well as Indian IT companies such as TCS, Infosys, and Wipro use a majority of these visas to send engineers from India to the US.
Software lobby Nasscom had previously requested an exemption from any limitations that could be imposed in a decree of the White House on the grounds that they are regarded as “essential workers.”
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Nasscom Vice-President Shivendra Singh had said, “The issue has already been raised at various levels. Hope the suspension is temporary and ends before October.” If the suspension goes through it would have an effect on existing H-1B holders who are not currently in the US and might have returned home after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unless it extends beyond September it will have an effect on new visa approvals, usually occurring in October.
Singh added that there has been a continuous reduction in IT unemployment in the US and that H-1B accounts for just 0.05 percent of the US labor force. “The visa applications by the top 7 Indian IT companies has been declining over the last few years,” he added.
In a statement, Nasscom said it is seeking exemption from any restrictions that may be imposed in a second White House proclamation for technology workers as essential workers.
The unemployment rate for computer occupations (the most common among H1-B visa holders) dropped from 3% in January 2020 to 2.5% in May 2020, while the unemployment rate for all other occupations rose from 4.1% in January 2020 to 13.5% in May 2020.