Foreign Techies were in Limbo. Now they have Trump.

Sanjeev Bhatt has moved came to the US from his native India in 2009, when the company he was working for, software outsourcing giant HCL, moved IT project manager from his Bangalore office to a client location in Chicago. . After working in the US for a few years, Bhatt decided he wanted to stay forever – but he needed to move to a new company. HCL is famous for getting people on an L-1 visa, for money transfers within a company, or an H-1B visa – The skilled worker program that President-elect Donald Trump has attacked campaigning as a tool he claims to lower wages and discriminate against American workers.

In 2013, Bhatt (whose name we changed to protect his immigration status) went to work at a small software consulting firm based in Virginia that initiated the application process. make him a lawful permanent resident. Getting his application approved by the government took two years. Then he started to wait a long time for a green card.

Meanwhile, Bhatt has established life here. He has managed projects as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies in Chicago, New Orleans, Milwaukee and Cincinnati. He brought his wife through 2010 and they have two young children. All four have traveled across the country when his project location changed, but Bhatt’s wife and children are currently residing in Cincinnati, where he bought a home earlier this year. Bhatt, who is currently working hard in Hartford, Connecticut, has to rely on FaceTime to keep up with his children.

He thought about taking a full-time job with Amazon or Capital One, which would help his family bond together. But the job change, he said, could have put him at the bottom of the line in a congested green card queue. By some estimates, immigrants like Bhatt – who are raising families here, buying a house here, paying taxes here – will have to wait a decade, and more often, to become permanent residents. .

Green cards usually protect immigrants from deportation, as long as they have not committed certain crimes. But for foreign workers to work in the U.S. tech industry, they also offer freedoms that many Americans take for granted: the ability to change jobs, get promotions and gain salary increase.

Waiting for a green card can be tricky, especially for those born in India, where the longest stagnation remains. US National Fund Estimates that while skilled workers from most other countries can get a green card in about eight years, the Indian wait time goes up to 70 years because of how many people are stuck in the queue.

That makes perfect sense, considering the hundreds of thousands of Indian workers in the US. India attracts the majority of H-1B visas issued by the United States, accounting for nearly 70% of the roughly 220,000 approved in 2014 (including renewals) – up from 43% in 2004. According to analysis by The Brookings Institution, 70% of H-1B approved in fiscal 2012 is for the computer-related fields.

But a worker can only maintain H-1B status if he or she is sponsored by the employer. So the vast majority of Indians seeking permanent residency in the US never run out of tech circles, who can find themselves “tied” to their companies for more than 10 years with very little blow. trap. And their situation could be about to get worse soon.

Bhatt, who works with an advocacy group called “We were hopeless in the Obama administration, but with the Trump administration we were scared.” Skilled immigrants in America. With Trump Chief Strategy, Steve Bannon has been noted as shows that there are too many Asian CEOs in Silicon ValleySkilled immigrants in the country are worried that starting mid-January, there might be a back-up goal for them.

Leave a Comment