'Visa issue won't affect India'

'Visa issue won't affect India'

Even though IT companies’ apex body Nasscom said the Trump administration’s memo on H-1B visas would have little impact, analysts predict that the IT sector will have to face muted growth for fiscal 2018.

The Trump administration on Tuesday formally announced measures to prevent the abuse of the H-1B work visa system, and said it should help US companies in hiring highly skilled foreign workers when there is a shortage of skilled employees in the US.

Seeking to play down the impact on outsourcing companies, Nasscom said the memorandum “reinforces existing practice by adjudicators and clarifies requirements for certain computer professionals”.

“The clarifying guidance should have little impact on Nasscom members as this has been the adjudicatory practice for years and also as several of our member executives have noted recently, they are applying for visas for higher level professionals this year,” Nasscom said in a statement.

When DH tried to contact Nasscom members like TCS, Infosys and Wipro, the companies didn’t give any reply. The US authority issues about 65,000 H-1B visas in the general category and another 20,000 for those applicants having higher education (Masters and above) from US universities in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

According to Aston Business School, UK Doctoral Research Scholar Sanjoy Sen, stricter interpretation of existing immigration requirements in the US reflects how anxious the current US administration is to demonstrate its commitment to restricting immigrant workers from overseas countries.

“It is perhaps a matter of coincidence that similar immigration changes are taking place in the UK and Singapore at the same time. However, the impact of the combined pushback will certainly be a jolt to Indian IT companies in the short term,” he said.

Sen pointed out that in the medium- to longer-term, though the impact of this will be significantly reduced through higher recruitment in the overseas subsidiaries of the Indian IT companies for which most of them have already initiated steps for overseas recruitment drives, with higher prices being charged to US and UK clients.

According to analysts, the impact of robotics automation (RA) and cognitive automation (CA) will also reduce hiring. “If the global GDP slides, the IT spend will also go down affecting the Indian IT industry. This is already visible in the consequtive bad performance of Indian IT services companies,” he said.

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