Sunday, March 29, 2009

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Employ American Workers Act 2009

Employ American Workers act 2009 was passed by President Barack Obama, as a part of American Recovery Reinvestment Act 2009 on 17th of feb 2009. According to this bill any American company who received money through Trouble Asset relief program (TARP) or Federal Reserve Act cannot hire H1B.This act however is not for ever it expires on 17th feb 2011 exactly 2 years from its inception. Few days back Bank of America refused to honor hiring of foreign nationals. A rough estimate states that almost one third of M.B.A graduates hold foreign nationalities, and more than half of the graduate schools in US in Engineering , Science, Technology are filled with foreign nationals.

When Such acts are passed by US congress it is merely impossible for foreign nationals to come here to study and enrich the intellectual property of this great nation is.The EAWA 2009 act says the following from WWW.USCIS.GOV

It has taken good faith steps to recruit U.S. workers (defined as U.S. citizens or nationals, lawful permanent resident aliens, refugees, asylees, or other immigrants authorized to be employed in the United States (i.e., workers other than nonimmigrant aliens) using industry-wide standards and offering compensation that is at least as great as those offered to the H-1B nonimmigrant;
It has offered the job to any U.S. worker who applies and is equally or better qualified for the job that is intended for the H-1B non  immigrant;
It has not “displaced” any U.S. worker employed within the period beginning 90 days prior to the filing of the H-1B petition and ending 90 days after its filing. A U.S. worker is displaced if the worker is laid off from a job that is essentially the equivalent of the job for which an H-1B non immigrant is sought; and
It will not place an H-1B worker to work for another employer unless it has inquired whether the other employer has displaced or will displace a U.S. worker within 90 days before or after the placement of the H-1B worker.

however there is a catch EAWA only applies to U.S companies that received covered funding and want to hire NEW H1-B workers ....that means existing h1 b's will not face gruelling time, the sweet caveat is as follows 

New employment (i.e., hires) based on a petition approved before Feb. 17, 2009, if the H-1B employee had not actually commenced employment before that date.

The normal exception to the H-1B dependent employer requirements that an H-1B nonimmigrant is exempt from the dependency calculation if the individual earns a salary of at least $60,000 or has a master’s degree or higher is not available to companies that have received covered funding.

Having read this comments I think H1B's should breathe easy as new laws are not as draconian as one might have thought. However they might be looked down upon by the future  F1 students and immigrants as a potential hazards towards migrating and obtaining green cards. There is a chance that the taxes and houses bought by these high skilled workers,and their contribution towards US economy, might start to fade a little for atleast next 5 years. 

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