Two senior Indian officials told Reuters on Wednesday they had been briefed last week on a US plan to cap the number of H-1B visas given annually to Indians at between 10% and 15% of the total number issued.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved 335,000 H-1B visas, which included both new and renewable, in the fiscal year 2018. This was 10 per cent less from 373,400 in the previous fiscal year of 2017
During the Washington Post's live discussion on new technology, when asked about the president's thoughts on H1B immigration, Liddell said, "He (Trump) has talked about merit immigration, clearly that (H-1B) fits in merit immigration."
The comment by the Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) came after Washington said it is planning to "revise" the definition of employment and specialty occupations under the H-1B visas by January, a move which will have an adverse impact on Indian IT companies in the US.
The National Foundation for American Policy said that the drop in H-1B visas for Indian-based companies is due to industry trends toward digital services such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, which require fewer workers.
USCIS recognised that allowing multiple filings by one employer on behalf of the same beneficiary could create a loophole for employers who seek to exploit the random selection process to the competitive disadvantage of other petitioners.