Friday, September 3, 2010

New U.S. Visa Fees is the change only to be criticized or can we see anything more coming up soon?

The increased H1-B us visa fee would have had some eyebrows raised but the question to be thought and asked is if this was a major issue pertaining and needing some attention.

Every year thousands of Indians visit US(only with respect to US), for a normal visa the fee ranges till 10K INR and that’s for all one application which if rejected will need a reapplication, mostly if you are a tourist there are no chances of rejection but in most of the student visas which are for longer duration and the one which are for temporary work force ( staff sent by Indian countries to US for temporary period) there are many rejections. Every rejection earns the US government some more dollars.

However the H1-B visas have always been considered more important from the point of Indians who eyed them during the brain drain years and since then have always been eyed upon.

After the recent change in the visa fee due to Schumer border security bill in US one will have to shell away more approximately more of about US$2000 per visa ie about INR 92000.

What is to be looked upon is the direct and indirect impact of this bill on Indians, Indian firms and any kind of employment drawbacks.
  • The majority of the individuals who apply for H1-B visa are students and those always have a choice of applying in student visas.
  • Majority of the Indian firms who send there employees on a temporary period abroad are the ones who apply for H1-B visas however the percentage of these is incomparable to others. The reason why they send there people is simply based on the concept of high profit earnings (i.e. all IT companies charge there counter parts in US on a monthly basis for the service they provide on the other hand the Indian employee is normally paid on a daily fixed expense+ Indian salary or only on daily expenses abroad basis, the net difference is simple profit made in body shopping)        
  •  As we are taking about big corporations whose reason to send an employee and earn over per  head   is  more than mere fee H1-B despite the fact it will add to the cost it will make no difference to the number of people sent by these firms abroad.
  •  Employment Drawbacks: if and only if one would not have any prospects of future earnings they would drop a plan to avail H1-B and as there is no difference made in the number of visas allowed it makes no difference to the overall employment opportunity in US on part time or full time basis.

So after reading all of this the questions still remains same , why is a policy decision hyped so much when it makes no difference to the overall economic situation of a country except for the few thousand dollars surplus(which sound like peanuts in front of the overall reaction).

Or is this just the first step for the change and we can expect more change in the coming days. Looking at the present scenario the only option US seem to be having is generation of employment and creating more opportunity for employment and any changes made there could not only hurt US corporate profits but also Indian companies and overall employment scenario in India.


Mahi said...

Dear Writer,

I would like to have clarifications on below mentioned points:

1) Is it just H1 B visas for which the Visa fee has been hiked or L visas are also included?

2) As far as applicants of H1 B is concerned, I think more than students, professionals apply for H1 B visas, because for students have Student Visas available for them.

3) Can you please elaborate on the point explained under the head of Employment Drawbacks.

Anjana Khanduri said...


The addition you have made is correct but the as you yourself pointed out the H1B is applied by professionals the percentage of applicants who apply for these is very low and the ones which get approved is still lower.

The L-1 as you said should matter because these are mostly used by corporate for intra company transfers.

But the point through out remains that will this fee hike affect any of the employment options for us “Indians" and that is what should and is our concern.

The Visa fee hike was a policy decision which was made was taken as a signal to increase employment in US by decreasing the opportunity of the other country citizens like India, but when we see the ground effect of the policy it zeroes down to some additional dollar revenue.

However as there are serious efforts taken by US to generate employment, we can actually expect some serious decisions in the near future, which would affect the employment in India. The employment generated by the US-subsidiary of Indian companies, the Indian outsourcing companies and also to the number of people looking for employment in US.

Hope I am able to justify to your questions.
Please post if you have more queries.

SM said...

thoughtful article

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