FREE 830 WORDS ESSAY ON THE H1-B VISA: THE PROS AND CONS FOR SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS.
THE H1-B VISA: THE PROS AND CONS
The H1-B visa is a visa issued by the American government which allows American organizations to employ foreign nationals for short periods of time. This is a non-immigration visa, and holds multiple benefits for the foreign national working on American soil, which explains why it is so sought after especially in poorer nations. Here is what the H1-B visa is all about:
- It is a non-immigration visa.
- On expiration of visa, the worker can stay in the United States for 60 more days, during which time s/he can look for further employment.
- The Immigration and Nationality Act of USA specifies that foreign nationals must be employed in a specialty occupation, which may include but not limited to biotechnology, engineering, medicine, law, education, social sciences and so on.
- In order to apply for an H1-B visa for an employee, the employer must prove that there are no citizens of the nation qualified to do justice to the position.
Positive aspects of H1-B visa
The H1-B visa provides a number of benefits to foreign nationals and employers alike. Let’s take a look:
WORKERS ARE ALLOWED TO SHIFT JOBS
While the visa is still valid, a worker with a H1-B visa is allowed to change employer, which allows the career growth that probably spurred them to move to America in the first place. The new employer has to file a petition requesting for a H1-B visa for the employee, linking the visa to the said organsiation. While this process may take months, it allows you to stay on in the country as long as you’ve filed for the visa well in advance and are able to retain your current job.
QUITE A FEW BENEFITS
H1-B visa workers enjoy a number of benefits. If they are married, their spouses and children are allowed to visit. Their spouses can come with them to the country on an H4 dependant visa, and their children, if under 21 years of age, can come as well. The children will be allowed to go to schools and colleges, although they will not be allowed to hold jobs unless they have all been granted citizenships. Vacations and leaves are granted generously, without having any impact on their status.
The H1-B visa is granted on a dual intent understanding, which means that the visa holder can apply for permanent residence while the visa is still valid. The benefits received by the H1-B visa holder is also quite similar to the permanent resident: they receive Social Security, and their dependants can obtain driving licenses, buy houses, and open bank accounts.
Negative aspects of H1-B visa
However, there are a few downsides to the H1-B visa as well. For example,
RENEWAL IS A PAIN
On expiration of the visa, or if they are laid off, the worker is given 60 days to find a new job and get a renewed visa. The process is not an easy one; if you do indeed manage to find a job that pays better or at least as good as the previous employment, the new employer has to file a petition requesting a new visa that will be linked to the company. And this process can take upwards of three months. And in recent times, when stricter policies are being enforced, the process has become even more stringent, with applications receiving more scrutiny. So you cannot really start working for at least three months after you lose the visa.
Foreign nationals working with an H1-B visa are given the jobs on the understanding that there is no one qualified in the country to undertake the responsibilities of the position. This attracts a lot of ire from residents of the country, who feel that their jobs are being taken away by foreigners simply because they have to be paid less for more hours. This antagonistic mentality can spill over from one’s professional to personal space as well.
CURBING OF OPPORTUNITIES
As discussed earlier, renewing the H1-B visa is a difficult and long process, even more so in the current climate. Given this situation, many workers are afraid to move to a different, potentially better job, and settle for comparatively lower prospects, for fear that their visa will not be renewed in time and they would have to head back home. This situation significantly restricts career growth for a wide number of foreign workers. They are also hesitant to own property or invest in the country, even if they have lived there for a long time, for fear of losing their visa in the next application.
The H1-B visa is considered by many to be a golden opportunity for foreign nationals to have a proper life in the United States. However, that window is today fast becoming narrower, with US President signing the Executive Order that directs American organizations toward a ‘By American, Hire American’ policy. Applications are being reviewed more stringently, and the proposed reforms have seen a sharp decline in the number of applications since they were first announced.