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Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google join 46 US companies in challenging new H-1B rule


BENGALURU: As many as 46 American companies and business organisations, including technology giants such as Apple, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, HP, have filed an amicus brief that supports a legal challenge to block upcoming changers in the H-1B visa rules.

These companies and organisations have argued that the new rule could dramatically reduce the US’s ability to hire highly skilled workers.

“The H-1B visa program provides tremendous benefits to the US economy and U.S. workers. Numerous economic studies demonstrate that the presence in the US of these high-skilled employees fuels innovation, increases productivity and the size of the US economy, and—most important—creates

additional jobs and higher wages for US workers,” said these companies in their argument.

“The new DHS and DOL Rules will dramatically reduce US businesses’ ability to hire these skilled foreign workers—one senior DHS official estimated that they will render ineligible more than one-third of petitions for H-1B visas. That will significantly reduce the economic benefits provided by the H-1B programme, stunt the US economy’s recovery from the pandemic, and lead to greater reliance by US companies on operations outside of the United States—inflicting long-term damage to our Nation’s economic growth,” they added.

Last Thursday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a final rule to replace the lottery system for H-1B visas with wage-level based selection.

The DHS said modifying the H-1B cap selection process by replacing the random selection process with a wage-level-based selection process ‘is a better way to allocate H-1B visas when demand exceeds supply’. “If finalized as proposed, this new selection process would incentivize employers to offer higher wages or petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled workers instead of using the program to fill relatively lower-paid vacancies,” said DHS in a statement.

Twitter Public Policy said in a post that it has joined industry peers and numerous organizations in filing an amicus brief that supports a legal challenge to block upcoming rule changes to H-1B visa eligibility.

“These rules will stifle the ability of American companies to hire and retain global talent…Not only is the H-1B visa program critical to driving American economic growth and innovation, it also enhances our diversity as a company and as a nation. We’ll continue our strong advocacy on this issue,” said Twitter in its post.

These businesses argued that the “new Rules will irreparably injure companies and the entire US economy by forcing businesses to discharge current employees—disrupting ongoing projects and imposing significant costs, and in some cases forcing companies to transfer work to locations outside America’.

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