Trump's next executive order could clamp down H-1B visas

Is Indian IT Slipping? ‘The Economist’ Misses The Woods For The
Trees

According to latest developments, the US House of Representatives, has already called for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to $130,000 (approx Rs 89 lakhs) making it hard for firms to use the programme to replace American employees with foreign workers, including from India. The Bill proposes doubling the minimum salary required for holders of H-1B visas to $130,000 and determining how numerous visas were allocated, based on factors like overall wages.

The new bill speaks about more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to United States dollars 130,000, which is going to shoot up cost of sending on an employee to the U.S., which dovetails into hitting the Indian IT market adversely. Apte added that Indian IT companies should be prepared for a phase of uncertainty for the next 3-6 months. His wife, US First Lady Melania Trump, entered the US from Slovenia using a H-1B visa in October 1996 under the quota of 200 visas set aside for fashion models "of distinguished merit and ability". Not a single day goes by when the US President is not issuing some controversial order or the other. It began with his declaration to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out, then his recent diktat on the temporary ban on nationals from seven Muslim countries from being granted American visas for a period of 90 days.

The text of the order does not impose an immediate freeze on the number of H-1B visas issued this year, but Peddibhotla said the language suggests there will be a reduction in the number of visas issued in future years. A related visa is the L1, which is given to employees of a company who are transferred to the US. Technology giants complain that the limited availability of H-1B visas - a maximum of 85,000 can be issued every year - restricts their ability to hire top-tier engineering talent.

The IT industry's apex body Nasscom on Tuesday said that a proposed legislation in the U.S.to overhaul norms covering the H-1B and other work visas will prove to be a challenge for the Indian IT sector.

- The bill proposes to double the minimum salary required to apply for the H-1B visa to $130,000 from the current $60,000.

Dighe, who works on a team implementing Java software for the US bank Morgan Stanley, left a smaller outsourcing company 2½ years ago to join TCS and gain a better shot at working overseas, where the salaries are three to four times higher than what Indian tech workers earn.

Stocks of Indian Information Technology companies took a sharp fall after the H1B reform bill was taken up by the US House of Representatives. Indians comprise the second largest ethnic group after the Chinese when it comes to global student enrolment in the USA, according to the Institute of worldwide Education. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 122.65 points, or 0.61%, to close at 19,971.13, the S&P 500 lost 13.79 points, or 0.60%, to 2,280.9 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 47.07 points, or 0.83%, to 5,613.71.

Bengaluru in particular, the hub of the IT industry, will be the epicentre of this meltdown that Trump has caused. "I have been contacted by numerous American workers at many companies who are now training their replacements".

The move will cause a lot of headaches for outsourcers, primarily from India, who run the technology departments of large corporations with largely imported staff.

Trump who follows the America First ideology, is expected to make reforms that could hurt the American IT Firms including Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple from hiring workforce through Indian companies such as Infosys and Wipro.

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