Investigations led by US government on alleged visa abuse will not be limited to Indian Information Technology companies but will also include global firms, CNBC-TV18 reported citing undisclosed sources. The IT companies will have to submit five-year records of H-1B, B1 and L1-B visas to the US government, the report further added.
This comes in the wake of allegations in a White House briefing which stated that India’s leading IT companies such as TCS and Infosys unfairly garner a large share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system and flooding the system with applicants, which increases their chances of success in the lottery draw. This US charge had been refuted by NASSCOM, stating that only six of the top 20 H-1B Recipients were Indian companies and that TCS and Infosys together had received only 7,504 approved H-1B Visas in FY15.
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With the clamour on pros and cons of protectionism growing, Indian stakeholders ranging from the top government functionaries to private citizens are actively raising voices against the United States’ action to kerb H-1B visa allotments to information technology professionals from the India.
Prominent government leaders, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, have taken up the issue at the highest levels with their US counterparts, in frantic efforts to save Indian IT companies from a potential surge in costs, and IT professionals from possibly losing their jobs.
Jaitley discussed the issue of H-1B visas for skilled professionals from India and highlighted the contribution of Indian companies and professionals to the US economy in his meetings, with the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin and with the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
While the US is contemplating a drastic change in the visa allotment rules, there is a call from some quarters for an even further meaningful reform of the H-1B visa regime to prevent the companies from abusing the program.
India’s Chief Economic Advisor, Arvind Subramaniam, had said that any serious action by the US on the H1-B visa issue will be a cause of concern for Indian Services Industry.
Urjit Patel, RBI Governor, had also warned against the increasing talk of protectionism saying that giant multinationals corporations have benefited from an open trading system built on global supply chains.