Programmers no longer eligible for H1-B Visas in US

Programmers no longer eligible for H1-B visas in US

Programmers no longer eligible for H1-B Visas in US

Programmers no longer eligible for H1-B Visas in US

The ruling reverses old guidelines set by the US, and will have far reaching implications for thousands of Indian techies. The US has ruled that being a simple computer programmer would no longer qualify as a specialist profession, which is a must for the issue of a H1-B Visas, in a move that could have far reaching implications for thousands of Indians applying for such a visa.

The ruling reverses the US’ more than decades and a half old guidelines, that were issued in the context of addressing the new millennium needs.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has ruled that an entry level computer programmer position would not generally qualify as a position in a “specialty occupation”.

The clarification on what constitutes a “specialty occupation” superseding and rescinding its previous guidelines of December 22, 2000 was issued by the USCIS through a new policy memorandum on March 31.

The move could have far reaching implications on thousands of Indians applying for H-1B work visas for the next fiscal beginning October 1, 2017, the process for which started yesterday.

Issued just one business day before the USCIS started accepting H1-B visa petitions, the policy memorandum titled ‘Rescission of the December 22, 2000 Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions,’ has sent shocked waves across the companies and immigration attorneys, as their application was based on the 2000 guidelines on what constitutes a specialty occupation.

“The fact that a person may be employed as a computer programmer and may use information technology skills and knowledge to help an enterprise achieve its goals in the course of his or her job is not sufficient to establish the position as a specialty occupation,” the USCIS Policy Memorandum ruled.

“Thus, a petitioner may not rely solely on the (current version of the) Handbook (that describes specialty occupation) to meet its burden when seeking to sponsor a beneficiary for a computer programmer position.

Instead, a petitioner must provide other evidence to establish that the particular position is one in a specialty occupation,” the memorandum said.

According to the USCIS, the December 22, 2000 memorandum entitled ‘Guidance memo on H-1B computer related positions’ is not an accurate articulation of current agency policy.

“USCIS is rescinding it to prevent inconsistencies in H-1B and H-1B1 adjudications between the three service centers that currently adjudicate H-1B petitions,” it said.

The USCIS argued that the 2000 memorandum was based on 1998-1999 and 2000-01 editions of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is now obsolete.

The 2000 memorandum, it said, did not accurately portray essential information from the Handbook that recognised that some computer programmers qualify for these jobs with only “2-year degrees.”

While the memorandum did mention beneficiaries with “2-year” degrees, it incorrectly described them as “strictly involving the entering or review of code for an employer whose business is not computer related.”

The Handbook did not support such a statement, it said. As such, “it is improper to conclude based on this information that the USCIS would “generally consider the position of programmer to qualify as a specialty occupation,” the memorandum told USCIS personnel involved in adjudication of H-1B applications and petitions.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics in its Occupational Outlook Handbook identifies 10 different kinds of computer and information technology (IT) occupation.

Topping the list is computer and information research scientists with a doctoral or professional degree, who normally invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology.

They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, medicine, science, and other fields. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows American firms to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

In 2015 their median salary was USD 110,000. It is followed by Computer network architects (whose median salary in 2015 was USD 100,000), Computer programmer (USD 79,530), Computer support specialist (USD 51,000).

The median salary for Computer systems analysts was USD 85,500 followed by Database Administrators (USD 81,000), Information Security Analysts (USD 90,000), network and computer systems administrators (USD 77,000), Software developers (USD 100,000) and web developers (USD 65,000).

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Best Indian overseas educational consultancy services firm

Best Indian overseas educational consultancy services firm

Best Indian overseas educational consultancy services firm

Best Indian overseas educational consultancy services firm

If you are looking to study abroad, then you must seek professional help. Of course, you can research it at home too, but you cannot discount the experience a trained immigration consultant. It basically boils down to what discipline you want to pursue your higher education in. Depending on that you can narrow down the list of countries which are renowned for that particular stream. Following that, list down the best educational institutions or universities you could apply for in those countries.

In fact, with the arrival of technology, it has made it easier for us to communicate with people abroad. So, make use of this by talking to students who are already enrolled in the institutions you are eyeing to study in. Talking to them would allow you to pose specific questions and clear the air for you in the bargain.  As everyone is aware, you have to spend a lot if you wish to Study Abroad. It would be better if you make the rough estimation of how much it would cost you. Some of you might be eligible for scholarships. If not, think of how you would mobilize funds.

The next stage would entail you to ensure that you have all the required travel documents. It need not be mentioned that the passport you hold currently allows you to enter the country where you wish to study. If that is no the case, apply for a visa much ahead of your expected date of departure. Also, make sure that the visa would be valid for the entire duration of your study there.

All countries require that you are perfectly healthy before entering their country. Visit a doctor and get all the required health documents that certify that you are healthy. Take all the vaccines that the country you go study in requires from all its travelers. Travel insurance is a sine qua non as one might get sick at any time. Ensure that the health insurance you have covers you for medical care abroad. If it’s not, then you should go in for a health insurance policy that would let you travel.

It is better to know someone in a country where you would pursue studies. Even if you might not know anybody in a personal capacity, try to befriend someone or ask your friends if they could get you in touch with anyone.  We do not know what kind of help you might need on alien land. Try to make use of technology, television or any other resources to know about the customs of the country you would be wishing to go to. Some things which are norms in our country might be offensive elsewhere. Preempt misunderstandings and be on their right side.

While you are at it, ensure the laws of the country you are entering. For instance, most Islamic countries prohibit consumption of alcohol. On the other hand, if you are going to a progressive country like the US or Australia, it is necessary to meet a person in the eye and wish him or her. Some countries have very strange laws which we are not aware of until we reach there.

One of the most important aspects is to know whether the debit card or credit card you possess might be valid in the destination country. You could find that out from overseas education advisory whether you are required to open an account or not. Take the coordinates of the Indian Embassy or consulate which is closest to you such as phone number, address and so on. Though you might have a relative or friend in that country, they cannot help you if you are seeking legal recourse. Before you enter that country, list down the emergency numbers of the country and also coordinates of your contacts, your educational institution, and other organizations. Shop properly taking into consideration the climate of the country. Take the help of people who have been into that country.

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Post-Brexit UK might re offer work permit to students from India

Post-Brexit UK might re offer work permit to students from India

Post-Brexit UK might re offer work permit to students from India

Post-Brexit UK might re offer work permit to students from India

Students from India in the UK who complete their graduation might once again be offered the work licence after the Brexit. Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, India’s High Commissioner to the UK has said that restoring the two-year period work authorization is being discussed and it is a very high priority in the bilateral talks, quotes Times of India.

Students from India were offered a two-year work permit in the UK after completion of their graduation. This was however done away with in the year 2012. The Indian Ambassador informed the media at London that a bilateral treaty on priority is being discussed for after Brexit period. The issue of work permit for students is a part of the agenda and it will have to be adequately resolved, said Mr. Sinha.

Mr. Sinha also accepted that in the past five years there has been a drastic decline in the number of Indian students immigrating to the UK for higher studies. He said that one reason for this was also fraud institutions, but nevertheless lesser students are applying.

Elaborating on the scenario, the High Commissioner to the UK said that almost 90% of the job applicants are hired. There could be diverse reasons for the decrease in applications but from an employers’ perspective, we also have to consider the preference given to a candidate who has just four-month authorization to work in the UK.

Speaking on the impact of Brexit on trade relations between India and UK, Sinha clarified that there cannot be any official discussion on FTA till the time the UK exits from the European Union. However, there is a mutual working group of both the nations discussing services and trade parallel to the exit talks between the UK and the EU. There will be clarity on the scenario for the period after March 29, 2019, said Mr. Sinha.

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