The US government is looking to increase the application fee for the H-1B visa so as to raise funds for the expansion of the training program for young people in America who are in technology-oriented services.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant route for American companies to hire foreign technical experts. Last year alone, 76% of the total H-1B visas issued were given to applicants of Indian origin.
Alexander Acosta, US Labor Secretary, said that for the 2020 fiscal year, the Department made a $160 million budget that will fund the expansion of the country’s apprenticeship program. The budget also includes a proposal to raise the application fee for the H-1B visa. The extra funds will sponsor more activities in the apprenticeship program.
The aim of the apprenticeship program is to train youths in America in hot niches such as advanced manufacturing, IT, and healthcare. According to the report, these industries are more common among H-1B visa applicants.
How much is the new H-1B visa fee?
The new application fee, as well as the affected categories of applicants, is not yet known.
This application fee increment is coming at a time when there is much uncertainty surrounding the future of the visa program and its regulations. The approval ratings of the visa program have also fallen drastically.
It is clear that because India has the majority of applicants for the visa, Indian IT companies are most likely to have a heavier financial burden.
There have also been changes in the applications for the H-1B visa. The Labor Department made these changes, so as to establish a higher level of transparency and provide more efficient protection for American workers whose employers might be misusing the scheme.
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