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Last Updated : Nov 22, 2017 07:22 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

H-1B woes to continue for Indian IT: Report

The ongoing H-1B visa issues could continue being a thorny issue for the Indian IT industry, a recent analyst report has warned.


The ongoing H-1B visa issues could continue being a thorny issue for the Indian IT industry, a recent analyst report has warned.

Last week, a US congressional Committee approved Congressman Darrell Issa’s ‘Protect and Grow American Jobs’ bill for a vote after a few amendments. The Bill, among other things, proposes increasing the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to USD 90,000 from the existing USD 60,000 and imposes a number of restrictions on the work visa.

On Wednesday, analyst Kanwaljeet Saluja and Jaykumar Doshi of Kotak Institutional Equities Research said in a note that the bill was “even more draconian than our initial view as it seeks to strengthen the non-displacement clause and makes it mandatory for all applications for H-1B dependent employers and increase investigations. If passed, this bill can have severe negative consequences.”

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The Indian software services body National Association of Software and Services companies (Nasscom) had last week said that the Bill was being “driven by myths” about the Indian IT sector.

In its recent note, the Kotak analysts noted that a deeper reading of the Bill showed that the provisions seemed structured against the Indian IT firms.

“In our view, this bill is particularly harsh and can potentially limit the ability of IT companies to recruit H-1B workers, even as non-H-1B dependent firms in the US can continue to recruit H-1B workers without any major ramifications. At a broad level, this bill may be protecting interests of several US tech companies,” the analysts said.

Among other things, the proposed law requires H-1B dependent employers to prove that they will not displace any US employee that is similarly situated as the H-1B worker for 90 days before and 90 days after the H-1B petition is filed.

However, an exemption from this attestation is available if an H-1B employee receives a wage of USD 60,000 a year or higher or has a Master’s degree or its equivalent or higher degree. Indian IT companies, according to Saluja and Doshi, normally pay above USD 60,000 and avail exemption.

While they also said that the Bill in its current form looks unlikely to become law, the noise level around the H-1B was expected to remain elevated.

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First Published on Nov 22, 2017 07:13 pm

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