Nasscom faults selective restrictions on USA visas

Industry body Nasscom

Industry body Nasscom

Immigration-related issues facing the software services sector-such as H-1B visa curbs in the U.S. and Australia scrapping the 457 visa-are just operational concerns for Indian IT companies, and the industry is taking steps to overcome them, Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar said Thursday.

The move is seen as a deterrent to Indian IT firms which send software engineers to the U.S. on H-1B visas.

The order prods the Justice Department and other federal agencies to propose reforms to ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid foreign applicant. The domestic IT industry has transformed many times in the past.

The MEA spokesperson recalled that the government had agreed with the government of France last year to allow Indian students at Masters level and above to extend their stay in that country for two years.

Noting that the restrictions are targeted at visa dependent companies, he said: "If you think people are losing jobs because of immigrant workers. put restriction that should be applicable to everybody".

Mr Baglay said, the government has facilitated expansion of workforce through its flagship programmes such as "Make in India" and "Skill India" as also by delivering large technological partnerships and enhanced Foreign Direct Investment. On the United States executive order, she has said that it is not only the Indian companies which will get affected but also the United States companies who earn profits which go to their economy. Studies show that for every H-1B position requested, U.S. technology companies increase their employment by five workers. "He (Trump) is only talking about tighter implementation of the existing policy", said Sid Pai, an expert on the Indian outsourcing industry and former Asia-Pacific head at consultancy ISG. Claiming professionals to be "brick builders" between the countries, Baglay said that there is a mutuality of interests involved and it is not just an immigration issue, rather a "trade and services" problem, PTI reported.

"Our initial assessment is that the move should not have a major impact on visas granted to Indian IT workers, as the "457 visa category" covered a lot of fields and was hard to manage", said the National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom) in a statement.

Australia has abolished the 457 visa programme used by more than 95,000 temporary foreign workers, majority of them Indians, to tackle the growing unemployment in that country.

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