Visa issue: New US administration’s initial moves ‘fairly positive’; hope better sense will prevail, says Nasscom

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February 15, 2021 8:13 PM

Indian IT industry's lobby grouping Nasscom on Monday said the initial signals from the new US administration are "fairly positive" and hoped that better sense will prevail in policymaking

H-1B visa, immigrant visa norms modified, outgoing Trump administration , next H-1B visa filing season, incoming Biden administration to review notificationThe next H-1B visa filing season is slated to start on April 1. (PTI Image)

Indian IT industry’s lobby grouping Nasscom on Monday said the initial signals from the new US administration are “fairly positive” and hoped that better sense will prevail in policymaking under the “pro-immigration” President Joe Biden’s team. The US market represents a bulk of the USD 194-billion industry’s revenues and the stance taken by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump under his ‘America First’ strategy had led to a slew of concerns for the domestic industry, which typically depends on visas for sending low-cost workforce to their customers.

“Some of the initial announcements of the Biden administration have been fairly positive. They have stayed some of the executive orders which were passed by the Trump administration,” Nasscom Chairman Pravin Rao told reporters.

Rao, who is the Chief Operating Officer of the country’s second largest IT player Infosys, said Nasscom expects the new administration to be “consultative” and also added that President Biden has been “pro-immigration from the beginning”. “There is a clear recognition and we have always advocated free mobility of talent and hopefully, we will have a positive engagement with the new administration,” Rao said.

On the issue of H1-B visas, the US administration is looking at giving a higher priority to wages earned, which may lead to more experienced peoples’ applications being granted preference in the lottery, he said. However, there is another school of thought which says that American universities are producing high number of capable graduates who have invested in education and need to be accommodated domestically, he acknowledged.

“I am sure better sense will prevail. I am sure America still wants the best talent there because that helps their growth, in being competitive,” Rao said, commenting on a new law on the visas being mulled in the US after Biden administration announced a review.

Rao said Nasscom is also working closely with other industry associations in the US who are “allied” with its thinking. “We are hopeful that better sense will prevail and they will do what is good for America and we firmly believe it will be good for the industry as well,” he said.

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