The United States has been the dreamland for many bright, young Indians for many years. The huge employment opportunities, good working environments and higher salaries lured them to US. But the ‘American Dream’ for many Indians seems to be fading these days. Many H1 visa holders are going through tough times. Many factors like unemployment, recession and new regulations issued by USCIS such as ‘employer-employee relationship’ are forcing USA H1 visa holders to return back to India.
USA H1 Visa
H1 is a temporary work visa, which is required for an employee to work in United States in a professional job. It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers. Typical H1 occupations include architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, doctors, college professors and business managers. If a foreign worker is dismissed from the sponsoring employer and the worker can find another employer or must leave the country.
Focus on Employer Employee Relationship
Engaging a person to work in the United States is more than merely paying the wages or entering that person’s name in the registers. United States’ employer means a person or an organization, which employs a person and should have an ‘employer-employee relationship’. Means the employer has the right to control the employees’ work, including the ability to hire, fire and supervise the employee. The employer should have the ‘right to control’ the employee while performing the job.
Also, there are field audits and strict penalties have been imposed on H1 sponsoring companies, not following this employee employer relationship. It is applicable for both new and renewed H1 visa applications.
Not Easy Moving from One Company to Another
The employer should file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with Department of Labor, specific to each location where the employee will be working concerning the terms and conditions of the contract of employment. It makes very difficult for a person to switch the jobs from one area to another. For example, it will not be easy to move from Los Angeles to New York.
Third Party Placement or Job Shop Not Considered Valid Employer
Third party placement or a job shop is a computer consulting company that has contacts with numerous outside companies for which it supplies employees (generally computer analysts) to fulfill temporary staffing needs also called staff augmentation. They are not considered as valid employers. Any specific positions are not outlined in the contract between the employer and the third party company but are staffed as per requirement.
Unemployment Rate Close to 10 Percent
There are a lot of IT people without jobs in US. The recent economic crisis has sent the U.S. economy into its worst recession in last few decades. As a result of that unemployment rate has raised significantly. According to latest figures issued by the Labor Department, nationwide unemployment rate is 9.7 percent. US is said to have lost 84 lakh jobs since the recession began in December 2007.
Though the US economy is expected to grow strongly in 2010, the unemployment rate is estimated to remain high. The US Federal Reserve recently forecasted that the unemployment rate is expected to remain between 9.5 percent and 9.7 percent throughout the next year (2010).
The H1 visa program was meant to handle the problems of not finding qualified people for the existing jobs. However, today with record unemployment and not enough jobs, the USA does not need H1s. There are enough American citizens who are desperately seeking jobs. For this reason you can expect many of your friends and relatives to come back to India.