Tougher norms for H-1B workers

22 Mar 2009, 0340 hrs IST, PTI

WASHINGTON: In a blow to Indian professionals, the US on Saturday announced additional measures for hiring of foreign specialists under the H-1B visa work programme making it more difficult for companies receiving federal aid money to hire immigrants.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the measures to enforce the provisions of the new Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which prohibits hiring of H-1B visa holders by American companies who receive the federal aid money. Indian nationals account for bulk of the coveted H-1B visas.

These measures come about ten days before the USCIS starts accepting petitions for new H-1B visas for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2009.