The United States Department of Homeland Security has delayed the introduction of a proposal for major changes to the H-1B visa program, for the third time now.

Two years ago the agency had promised to implement changes in order to combat “fraud and abuses” to the much sought after H-1B visa which is a non-immigrant visa that enables foreigners to work in the US in specific job positions such as professors, doctors, lawyers, engineers, IT specialists and other similar for which there is a skills shortage in the US.

However, while the DHS had promised to introduce the proposal by October 2018, over a year later the agency has failed to propose the rule for the third time so far.

According to the executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy Stuart Anderson, the delays have occurred partly because the federal authorities are too busy developing many immigration regulations at the same time.

They’ve been doing it without any regulations, now they’re trying to lock into what they’ve been doing through the adjudication process so that any future administration, for example, would have to undo the regulation, It’s very likely that any regulation would just kind of write out what they’ve already been doing in practice. Once you put a regulation in place … there’s a long process in getting rid of it,” Anderson said.

He also added that the proposed changes are complicated since the DHS is trying to create a rule that will match the definitions that its officials are already using amid an aggressive crackdown that had dramatically boosted H-1B denial rates.

On the other hand, lawyer John Miano from the US Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-immigration think tank that favors far lower immigration numbers, believes that the holdup arises from pressure from the government employers using the H-1B.

According to him, in the H-1B debate, the Indian outsourcers are presented as the villains when actually the US companies are the ones that hire outsourcers to supply them with H-1B workers.

We have this kind of false division: bad Indian companies and good American companies… The good American companies hire the bad Indian companies, so they don’t want anything that hinders them,” Miano said.

H-1B Visa is a US visa given to foreign skilled workers to come to the US and work for a certain company. The H1B visa program gives the opportunity to foreigners of areas, which require specialized knowledge to come to the United States and fill available jobs. It has been popular especially among Indians, who have been awarded more than 70% of H1B visas.

Though its initial validity is no longer than three years, this visa can later be extended for up to six years. In order for one to be able to get this visa, he/she must first have a job offer by a company that will apply on their name.

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