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As President of the US, Trump is arguably the most powerful man in the world – which means that anything he does has an impact across the globe. Indians in the US and those at home with relatives in America are sure to be affected by Trump’s policy changes and attitudes. But how? How will Trump’s presidency affect Indians’ abilities to study in the US, to travel, and to work?
How Trump and a Stronger Dollar Affect Travel
One of the main ways in which Donald Trump will impact on Indians’ plans to travel and study in the US is through the creation of a stronger dollar. His main campaign promises were based on making business easier and more profitable, taxing imports, and reducing red tape. This aims to generate more jobs and also to limit inflation, which will result in a stronger dollar.
While a strong dollar will benefit the US, it is likely to have a negative impact on people coming to the US from other countries. Indians will have to pay more to buy dollars, which will make travel in the US and study in the US more expensive than it already is. Expenses for paying for a child’s education at college or school in the US will rise. Travel costs will also rise. However, while experts predict a stronger dollar and higher travel costs, they do not think that travel in the US will go down significantly as many people will continue to be attracted to the US, whatever the cost or the political climate.
How Trump Affects Indians’ Study Plans
As discussed above, when the dollar becomes stronger it becomes more expensive to pay for schooling in the US. But that is not the only way a Trump presidency will hit Indians’ study plans. Trump’s views on immigrants and foreigners in general make America seem less welcoming to Indians and other nationalities looking to study in the US. Many Indians will be reluctant to invest so much money in an education that takes place in a country which is actively turning away people from other countries.
Trump may also make it more difficult for universities and colleges to take international students. If this is the case, Indians will need to make sure they have stellar academic backgrounds and good skills in order to be considered for competitive places.
How Trump Will Hit H1B Visas
The H1B visa is a popular visa category for Indians and is already heavily over-subscribed. Trump plans to change specifications for the H1B visa, although it is too early to say exactly what will happen.
To get a H1B visa you need to be offered a job by an employer in the US and then you sign up for the visa in order to come to the US to work. Some proposed changes to the visa regulations include massively hiking the minimum salaries of people who want to take the visa – up to $130,000, say some experts. This will aim to prevent lower skilled immigrants taking jobs that could in theory be completed by Americans.
Other changes that have been proposed include setting aside a portion of the visa allocation to small companies and startup companies, taking away a cap for certain countries to bring about a greater distribution of visas, asking companies to first consider Americans before hiring on the H1B visa, banning spouses from working in America, putting a cap on the amount of H1B visa holders one firm can hire, and bringing in stricter auditing to prevent abuse and fraud.
Indians are the biggest beneficiaries of H1B visas. So, obviously, changes to H1B visa regulations will first affect India.
How Trump Affects Indian Jobs
As Trump tells everyone he wants the US to “Buy American, hire American”, he may look at ways in which US companies are penalized for outsourcing their business needs to other countries. Many big companies that use Indian firms for outsourcing IT and other functions could withdraw their business from India. If this happens, many Indians stand to lose their jobs. Nasscom, the trade association for IT and BPO in India, expects that hires in IT will drop 20 percent this year. Infosys got rid of 9,000 workers in 2016. Cisco plans to axe 14,000 people in 2017. While moves like this are not directly connected to Trump becoming president, the US is obviously a factor in large companies’ plans.
Indians must wait and see exactly how Trump’s policies and his views will affect their study, travel, and employment plans. It may be wise to watch carefully for a few months before making any big decisions in these areas.