Despatches from an H-1B wasteland

““You know… the usual — an H1B without a green card reports to an H1B who’s got his green card so it’s a different kind of abuse, it’s a lot of work and there’s no way you can push back as a foreign worker in a foreign country. Now that things have gotten tougher under the new administration, the new crop of H-1B workers in America are getting jammed from both sides,” he chuckles, trying to make light of the H1B boilerplate”.

The ‘temporariness’ of an H1B worker can vary depending on project start and end dates, the employer’s business outlook in the US and whether the H1B worker files for permanent residency. Take Kiran, for instance. He works with a leading Indian IT giant and has been seconded to an investment bank in New York. His H1B is valid till October 2019 but his project may end earlier; he and his wife aren’t raising the stakes in America. “We’ll file for extension if there’s a project. If it’s rejected, we leave. We’re not getting into this mess of waiting for green cards and just ruining the best part of our lives,” they said.

“You’re either under-qualified or they reject you as overqualified. The intention seems fairly clear — they want us out,” says Madhu, a storage specialist who says “my bags are packed” for later this year. Where will he go? “Canada or back home but I’m not waiting here for my extension.” Madhu’s H1B times out this fall”.

Well you all were supposed to only be here for Y2K and go home in 2002 when it was over, not take over and put Americans out of work for 15 years.

Party’s over India.

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