H-1B visas: Over 1.7 lakh techies miss US gold rush

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A senior Nasscom executive told Mail Today that “the details would take some time to emerge but Indian companies such s TCS, Infosys and Wipro are expected to get a lion’s share of the visas. Canada and the Phillipines are the closest competitors.”

India has been the largest applicant and also the biggest recipient of H1-B visas for computer workers and the trend will continue.

Indian companies in fact account for around 80 per cent of the H1-B visas for techies.However, the US administration has been imposing restrictions on the number of these visas and also increased hiked the application fee. Nasscom, estimates local IT firms would incur an extra $400 million a year in costs due to the spike in visa fees.

India had in March this year filed a complaint against the United States over non-immigrant temporary working visas at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

India has disputed measures imposing increased fees on certain categories of temporary work visas for the United States and limits on their numbers.

India’s stand is that these measures appear inconsistent with commitments that the United States has made by treating persons from India working in sectors such as computer services in the United States less favourably than US persons.’

In December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also raised the visa fee issue with Obama when the latter telephoned him to thank him for his leadership role on achieving the historic agreement on climate change in Paris on December 12. However, since it is politically sensitive, the Obama administration went ahead with the move.

With the US now going into election mode the rhetoric against Indian workers and “offshoring” of jobs has picked up further momentum.Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has proposed raising the minimum wage for H-1B visa holders comprising mainly Indian technology professionals as he released his policy of putting American workers first.

Such a move, Trump argued, would force companies to give IT jobs to unemployed Americans and not cheaper workers from overseas, including India.

(In association with Mail Today Bureau)

Source: MSN

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