Disruptive moves on H-1B bad for India,US: Nasscom

Disruptive moves on H-1B bad for India,US: Nasscom

Any disruptive move on the visa front will be detrimental to both India and the US, software body Nasscom has said.

With reports suggesting that Washington may be mulling new rules to prevent H-1B visa extensions, estimates show that such a move could lead to deportation of over one million H-1B visa holders in the US - many of them Indians -who are waiting for their green cards.

"It is not only about the Indian IT industry but about all Indians who use H-1B visas... Given that there is a real problem of shortage of skilled professionals in the US, any disruptive move will be detrimental to both India and the US," Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar said.

He was reacting to reports suggesting that the US Department of Homeland Security is considering new regulations, which will prevent H-1B visa extensions during the pendency of green card approvals.

In other words, if this materialises, the move would prevent foreign workers in the US from keeping their H-1B work visas, while their green card application is under processing.

Jonathan Withington, chief of media relations, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, told DH over email: "The agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President's Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, including a thorough review of employment-based visa programs,"  

However, there is not much to panic for the Indian workers in the  US right now, as according to analysts, the process is going to take a lot of time.

"There are some new regulations that are in the works but it takes a long time for those to go through the process," said Ron Hira, Washington-based immigration expert.

Meanwhile, Mahindra Group chief Anand Mahindra sought to soothe frayed nerves in a tweet: "If that happens, then I say 'Swagatam, Welcome Home.' You're coming back in time to help India Rise".

According to Nasscom, the use of visas by Indian IT firms has fallen by 50% in the last two years and that the number now stands below 10,000 (of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued annually).

To brace against the impact, Indians IT firms have also been ramping up local recruitments and training manpower in the US.

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