Immigration was one of the most controversial topics in the current President-elect Donald Trump’s victory. And now with the introduction of a new bill to tighten H1 B visa norms means the popular visa is temporarily closed for Indian and Chinese nationals.
The USA H1-B visa service allows an employer in the United States to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations for a period of up to six years. Current U.S. law permits 85,000 H1B visas to be issued to foreign workers, and India offers a number of skilled foreign workers for a lower cost.
In recent history, the H1B visa policy has undergone two major shifts in the employment of skilled workers. One was in 2004 when the H1B limit was decreased from 195,000 to 65,000. and the second shift was in 2010 when the outsourcing industry grew and companies start expanding their operations around the world. They transform the H1B visa program into a recruitment channel.
Infosys, Tata, IBM India, Wipro have been the top H1B visa providers for India. Nearly 60 percent of H1B visas are issued to the Indian contingent. Now a new bill called “The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act” has been introduced in the U.S. to curb H1B visas, the new bill requires the annual salary of the applicant to be at least $100,000 and Masters degree mandatory, in this way you have to be highly educated and well paid to be eligible for the H1B visa.
This new immigration bill is bad news for India’s IT companies who rely heavily on H1B visas only. There is a major drop in IT Stocks in India after this new proposal was announced amid concern that doubling of fees for H1B visas up to $4,000 may hurt the outsourcing companies in a big way. Stocks of India s largest IT firm TCS, HCL, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Wipro were down at National Stock Exchange (NSE) by 2 to 4 percent.
The proposed changes in the issuing of H-1B visas, the highly sought after US work permits, will badly affect the Indian IT firms which depend heavily on these work visas. As such, large Indian IT companies like TCS, Wipro and Infosys will have to pay $10,000 for each additional H-1B employee they would be hiring.
Such a thing will not be for companies like IBM, Intel, or Microsoft who are based in the US, and the majority of their employee are American nationals. In the case of companies like TCS, Wipro, and Infosys, which are headquartered in India having large off-site offices back home and depend on a small strength in the US, will be affected by such a provision.