NEW YORK, Dec 1: The US government has announced plans to change the H1-B visa programme to give preference to workers with advanced American degrees, a move which could potentially have the effect of reducing visas for those educated elsewhere.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said on Friday that the proposed changes would be "introducing a more meritorious selection of beneficiaries" and "help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries" under President Donald Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" executive order.
H1-Bs are non-immigrant work visas given to professionals and those with special skills.
According to the US government, 75.6 per cent of H1-B visas approved last year went to Indians.
The DHS said the US Immigration and Customs Service (USCIS), which manages immigration, would reverse the current order in which the applicants for H1-B visas are first selected through a lottery for those visas meant for workers with Masters's and PhD degrees from US universities and then for those open to all.
Under the system approved by Congress, 65,000 H1-B visas are available to all who qualify and another 20,000 are reserved for those with advanced US degrees. - IANS