As the Trump administration proposes to make H-1B visa rules stricter for high-skilled foreign workers, various higher education institutions along with a number of top companies and business organisations based in the United States are supporting legal challenges to the new rules. This proposal from the Department of Home Security (DHS) is to kick in on December 7, 2020.
A total of 23 education organisations along with the American Council on Education (ACE) have supported these legal challenges in the District of Columbia and the Northern District of California courts.
The ACE highlighted that H-1B visa holders play a crucial role in filling significant positions at colleges and universities: physicians, scholars, residents, faculty, researchers, and professional staff, in a wide array of fields including medicine, science, engineering, etc.
With US work opportunities being one of the determining factors for international students while picking study destinations, these new H1-B visas rules would discourage them from studying in the US.
According to a recent report published by World Education Services (WES), reasons such as the uncertain political and social environment and the pandemic have made the US a “less desirable” study option for foreign students.
WES Research manager Bryce K. Loo said that students coming to the US from India and other South Asian countries are keen on finding post-graduation work opportunities.
He further added that H-1B visas are one of the significant ways to transfer international students from short-term work opportunities after graduation to long-term post-graduation employment.
The research also pointed out that 44% of the respondents were interested in working long-term in the US.
After the proposals come into effect, Indian students especially may look for alternatives to the US for more post-graduation work and residency opportunities.
The State University of New York at New Paltz’s Manager of International Recruitment, Marketing, & Admission at Center for International Programs Amanda Stevens, said that the new rules would highly impact STEM and business students coming mostly from India and China, according to the data published by IIE Open Doors 2019.
The US economy, to which international students contribute enormously every year, will also be highly impacted by these new rules, leading to a decrease in the economic benefit and the number of jobs created.
On October 31, 2020, firms like Apple, Amazon, Twitter, Adobe, Hewlett Packard, Google, Facebook filed an Amicus brief backing a lawsuit challenging the proposals.