Nasscom welcomes Obama’s immigration reforms

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Bangalore | November 22, 2014 12:47 AM

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the trade body of the Indian IT industry...

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the trade body of the Indian IT industry, has expressed happiness that certain negative provisions against the sector, proposed in the earlier immigration Bill, were not reflected in the executive action by US President Barack Obama on Friday.

A statement by Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar said, “This is a very positive development, especially for high skilled employees and entrepreneurs living in the US. However, we await specific details of the initiatives and understand that it would take time to phase them all in. We are extremely happy to note that these policies did not reflect the pointers from the bill proposed earlier.”

The Immigration Bill as passed by the US Senate in June, 2013, would inflict considerable damage on the Indian IT industry, which derives 60% of its revenues from US and is heavily dependent on H1-B visas to carry out their operations. The Bill has numerous provisions on the use of H1-B visas and the outplacement clause is the most damaging as it states that firms with 15% and more H-1B dependent employees would be debarred from deploying their resources at customer locations.

Large Indian IT companies such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro, in association with Nasscom had been lobbying against these negative provisions in the Bill. The Bill has provisions like increased visa fees, stringent conditions on placing Indian employees in American companies, besides the outplacement clause.

However, the Bill has been passed only by the Senate and the one which has got approval from the judiciary committee of the House of Representatives called the Skilled Immigration Bill does not have any outplacement clause, which is a big positive for the Indian IT industry.
Nasscom welcomed the proposed executive action by US President Barack Obama on immigrants in US, and stated that it will positively impact the Indian residents and skilled workers in the US.

The US President showcased the steps that will be taken to protect about 4-5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation while streamlining procedures to retain students and skilled workers who have been trained in the US.

“Nasscom believes that these measures will help attract and retain talent in the US by addressing some of the operational and social issues thereby alleviating skills shortages to some extent,” the statement said.

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