Indian IT Firms May Face Layoffs Due To Visa Curb: ASSOCHAM

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 19, 2017

h1B

The US’ stringent norm for H-1B visas under the president Donald Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ campaign, is likely to bring woes for Indian IT companies as they are bound to face massive job cuts back home, cautioned an ASSOCHAM paper, which mentioned that the rising rupee is further worsening the situation for the technology export firms.

In contrast, Indian IT industry’s representative body Nasscom earlier said there will be no impact of the changed norms for H-1B visas under President Donald Trumps ‘Buy American, Hire American campaign. “Nothing is being proposed that would impact or change the FY 2018 H-1B lottery (system) that is underway. No new changes are being implemented immediately,” said the apex National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom) in a statement.

Nonetheless, Assocham said, while almost 86 percent of the H-1B visas allotted to the computer domain go to the Indian workforce, this number will now plummet to about 60 percent or less than that. “In that case, the chances of layoffs are real,” an ANI report on ET quoted ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat as saying, while cautioning the apex bodies and the government to design a joint strategy to deal with the situation.

“After all, our stakes are quite high. It is a question of USD 100 billion software export industry that employs over four million people and reservations for H1B visa for start-ups with less than 50 employees will decrease the number of visa available for Indian firms,” added Rawat.

The move would aggravate the situation and hamper the Indian external sector economy. Remittance from the US would decline impacting the balance of payment. “We expect disturbances in remittances by eight to ten percent,” the paper said.

According to the ASSOCHAM paper, the tightening rules would force IT majors to look at altering their strategies in terms of hiring, salaries, jobs, impacting employees in India too.

The technology companies of Silicon Valley for years have relied on a steady flow of skilled IT workforce from India to help them build their products and solutions. Now many of those companies and their workers are fretting for the changes under Trump that they believe could hurt their ability to tap the technical talent to stay competitive.