The heads of a number of Indian IT companies will meet United States lawmakers and officials from President Donald Trump’s administration in February to discuss the changes made to H1-B visa regulations, reported Reuters. IT stocks in Indian markets have taken a hit since news emerged that the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act, 2017, had been introduced in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday.
President of the National Association of Software and Services Companies R Chandrashekhar said the chief executives of some of India’s biggest IT companies will visit Washington later this month. The delegation will seek to stress on the economic partnership built between India and the US, the Nasscom chief told Reuters.
However, the Centre on Thursday had said that since no “executive order” had been signed in this regard so far, it would not “prejudge the outcome” of Bills being introduced in the US Congress seeking stricter visa regulations. “If and when the executive order is passed, we will certainly give a reaction,” said Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry.
Meanwhile, Infosys Co-Founder NR Narayana Murthy said Indian software companies should focus on local hiring in the US and stop sending people to the country on H1-B visas. “They [Indian IT companies] must recruit American residents in the US, Canadians in Canada, British people in Britain, and so on,” he told NDTV. “That’s the only way we can become a true multi-national company.”
The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act proposes hiking the minimum wage for H1-B visa holders from $60,000 (Rs 40.7 lakh) to $130,000 (Rs 88 lakh), which would make it more expensive for IT firms to hire professionals from outside of the US. Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and several other IT companies seek a considerable number of H-1B visas to send Indian workers to the US. More that three lakh Indian engineers are believed to be on H-1B visas in the US.