- The US state department has said the US has no plans to restrict H-1B work visas for countries that force international firms to store data locally.
- This statement came in the backdrop of a report which had said that the U.S. was considering capping H1Bs at 10-15% of all H1Bs for countries that had a data localisation policy.
- The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
- Dependents of H-1B visa holders get H-4 visas.The H1B is a temporary visa but is a pathway to permanent residency which is Green Card in the U.S.
- There is a mandated cap of 65,000 H1B visas under the general category and a further 20,000 for advanced degree holders.However, there are no country-wise caps for H1B visas.
- The US administration has taken several steps to tighten the rules on the H1B programme since U.S. President had signed the ‘Buy American and Hire American’ order in 2017.
- Some of these changes have focussed on combating fraud,such as through site visits and ensuring that the probability of higher qualified workers getting visas is increased.
- Other changes have made the H1B programme less attractive.For instance,an attempt to prevent H1B spouses from getting H-4 visa has severely alter family dynamics and the ability of foreign worker families in the U.S. to support themselves.
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