House Bill on immigration reforms may benefit Indian IT industry
Bangalore: The Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the US is in the process of formulating its own version of the Immigration Reforms Bill which is expected to help the IT outsourcing industry.
Among others, the Bill according to industry insiders proposes to increase the number of H-1B visas to 155,000 from the present level of 65,000. The Bill that was originally proposed by the bipartisan group of senators proposed to raise the visa cap to 110,000 with ability to go as high as 180,000 depending on the economic condition.
“The House bill is balanced. It addresses the issues that the US wants to deal with, and it does not have restrictions that have negative impact on both US corporations and Indian companies,” Som Mittal, president of industry body Nasscom told Business Standard.
In a note issued to its clients on Monday, equity research firm Jefferies said that even though the House Bill proposes to raise the current fees on H-1B visas, the quantum of increase seems much smaller than the $5,000-$10,000 proposed by the senate.
According to the Immigration Reforms Bill originally proposed by the bipartisan senators, if an employer has more than 50% of their employees on H-1B or L-1 visas, they were required to pay $10,000 fee per additional worker.
Last week, the Bill saw some changes because of a compromised formula by Republican senator Orrin G Hatch before it was approved by the Senate Judicial Committee. According to various reports, the amendment lifts the requirement of companies first offer tech jobs to Americans expect those that depend on foreigners for more than 15% of their workforce.
Mittal said the current provisions (in the Bill proposed by the Senate) will an adverse impact on the Indian IT services companies as well as the US corporations who leverage its services to become globally competitive.
“It is the beginning of a long process. It will go through debate in the Senate. There could be many more amendments offered on the floor. The House is also developing its own Bill which may be very different from the Senate Bill, which after it is debated and passed has then to be reconciled,” he said.
He said the industry body is hopeful that as law makers in the US would realise the impact of some of the restrictive provisions of the Bill on the US economy and make changes which would be acceptable to all.
*Source: Business Standard