World
H-1B visas: Nasscom says no impact as Assocham asserts lay-offs ahead
Even as Indian IT industry's representative body Nasscom on Wednesday said there will be no impact of the changed norms for H-1B visas under President Donald Trumps ‘Buy American, Hire American campaign, industries' lobby Assocham says IT companies are headed for disruption.
 
"Nothing is being proposed that would impact or change the FY 2018 H-1B lottery (system) that is underway. No new changes are being implemented immediately," said the apex National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom) in a statement here.
 
In contrast, Assocahm said that "nearly 86 per cent of the H-1B visas issued for workers in the computer space go to Indians and this figure is now sure to be scaled down to about 60 per cent or even less."
 
Asserting that the proposed changes were forward-looking and non-specific, Nasscom said the campaign to discredit the IT sector was driven by persistent myths that H-1B visa holders were "cheap labour" and "displace American workers", which was not accurate.
 
"The President's Tuesday order directs the federal bureaucracy to enforce visa law vigorously and study new ways to reform and restrict the H-1B system," reiterated Nasscom.
 
After signing the order, Trump asked his Secretary of State, Attorney General, Labor Secretary and Homeland Secretary to propose new rules and issue new guidance to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance to protect the interests of the US workers.
 
President Trump also asked his top officials to suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas were awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries.
 
Because of the changes, remittances from the US are expected to decline, hurting the balance of payments, Assocham paper said.
 
World bank data showed the US was the second largest source of remittance for India in 2015, behind Saudi Arabia, with about $10.96 billion -- nearly 16 percent of the total -- being sent to India. Assocham expects the inflow to decline by 8-10 per cent. 
 
"Indian firms support efforts to root out any abuse occurring in the H-1B system, as our IT industry is one of the most regulated sectors in the economy, and companies abide by applicable laws and regulations," claimed Nasscom.
 
Asserting that the H-1B visa system was meant to meet the acute shortage of highly-skilled domestic talent in the US, it said additional curbs on the H-1B or L-1 visas would hurt thousands of US businesses and their efforts to be competitive by hindering access to needed talent.
 
"We have no problem with measures to protect American workers, but they should be made applicable to all firms applying for short-term skilled visas, including H-1B," it reiterated.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

Trump takes first step towards H-1B visa reform
Washington, US President Donald Trump, hammering his "America First" campaign theme, signed an executive order that he said would favour American companies for federal contracts and tighten the H-1B visa programme for foreign technical workers.
 
The move is a deterrent to Indian IT firms which send software engineers to the US on H-1B visas.
 
Trump signed the "Buy America, Hire America" order on Tuesday night during a visit to a tool factory in the US state of Wisconsin, reported CNN.
 
The order tasked four department heads of State, Justice, Homeland Security and Labour to propose reforms in order to ensure H-1B visas are given to the "most-skilled or highest paid" petitioners. 
 
Additionally, it asked them to propose new rules and guidance for preventing fraud and abuse of work visas.
 
Trump made it clear that he doesn't agree with fact that H-1Bs are currently doled out under a lottery system.
 
"Right now, H-1B visas are awarded in a totally random lottery, and that's wrong. Instead, they should be given to the most skilled and highest-paid applicants, and they should never, ever be used to replace Americans," the US President asserted.
 
There's an annual quota of 85,000 new H-1B visas (with 20,000 reserved for Master's degree holders). 
 
Applications opened on April 3 and closed five days later. It was the fifth consecutive year that the cap was met within five days. This year, 199,000 applications were received, CNN reported.
 
"With this action we are sending a powerful signal to the world that were going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first," the US President said.
 
White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the executive order "will make significant progress towards Buy American and Hire American, the cornerstone of Trump's vision for a government that answers to the American workers who built this country".
 
The new directive also attracted scepticism from Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, who said Trump's policies put profits over people. He seems to do what the CEOs want, not what the workers want. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

Indian IT firms may face layoffs due to US visa curbs: Assocham
New Delhi, With the US tightening the norms for H-1B visas under the President Donald Trump's 'Buy American, Hire American' campaign, the Indian IT companies are bound to face disruptions by way of higher costs and even some laying off work force back home, and the rising rupee is aggravating the situation further for the technology export firms, an Assocham paper said here on Wednesday.
 
Nearly 86 per cent of the H-1B visas issued for workers in the computer space go to Indians and this figure is now sure to be scaled down to about 60 per cent or even less, the paper said. 
 
Remittances from the US would decline, hurting the balance of payment. World Bank data showed the US was the second largest source of remittance for India in 2015, behind Saudi Arabia, and about $10.96 billion, nearly 16 per cent of the total inflows, were sent to India. 
 
The industry chamber expects it to disturb the balance by 8-10 per cent.
 
As the cost pressure would increase, aggravated by rising rupee leading to lower realisations, the Indian IT firms may be forced to displace work force. "In that case, the chances of layoffs are real," said Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat.
 
He said the IT industry apex organisations and the government need to work out a joint strategy to deal with the unfolding situation. 
 
In the last three months, the Indian currency has gained by at least five per cent against US dollar, reducing net realisations for software exporters, among other export-oriented sectors. 
 
According to the Assocham paper, the reverses resulting from the tightening of the H-1B visas would force IT giants to effect fundamental changes in their strategies in terms of hiring, salaries, jobs, impacting employees in India too.
 
With Britain already hiking the minimum wage requirement to euro 35,000 for tier II visa immigrants, this latest move by the US will act as a definitive dampener to the Indian outsourcing industry.
 
The alternate solutions for the Indian outsourcing industry are: Investing "near shore centres" - facilities close to the US; focus on local hiring in America; and to work virtually, which is becoming easier with the wider adoption of cloud services and greater digitisation, the paper said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Online Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine)