In what could be seen as a piece of bad news for Indians aspiring to go to the United States, the Donald Trump administration has proposed to increase the application fee for the H-1B visa.
The news was broken to the Congress by Labour Secretary Alexander Acosta. He said this while proposing the budget for the Department of Labour for the fiscal year of 2020. The H-1B visa is provided for non-immigrants who work in the US in fields that require technical expertise.
"In FY 2020, the Department's budget includes $160 million to continue our expansion of apprenticeship programmes, along with a proposal to increase H-1B fee revenues to fund additional apprenticeship activities," Acosta was quoted as saying by TOI.
The Trump administration has called this out stating that foreigners provided competition for American workers who may have expertise in the same field.
India may face a problem if the application fee is hiked since many multinational companies in the IT sector have provided the visas for their employees to work in the US. In addition to the fee hike, reports have claimed that in the past year, the US government denied H-1B visa to one out of four applicants.
The report claims that Acosta briefed the Congressional Committee stating how $150 million was set aside the previous year to invest in apprenticeships in fields dominated by H-1B visa holders. He added that the investment brought about a 35 per cent private-sector match requirement and $57.7 million out of $202.5 million in funding came from the private sector in the country.
Acosta said, "As a result of this private sector match requirement, educators have a greater incentive to join with industry to ensure curricula address the needs of our ever-changing workplace, investing in the latest technologies and techniques, and providing more in-demand opportunities for Americans."