The Trump administration should reconsider its position on H-1B visas, a senior Congress leader has said, warning that any move to curb these visas could become an “emotional irritant” in the Indo-US ties. According to reports, President Donald Trump is considering an executive order to clamp down on work visas and flow of skilled manpower, a move that may impact Indian IT companies. “The US government should reconsider its position on H-1B (visas). There is certain amount of intellectual investment which India has made in the development of tech industry on the US,” Congress party spokesperson Manish Tewari said. Any such move “has the potential of becoming an emotional irritant in ties between India and the United States,” he warned.
Tewari was speaking to a group of reporters at a media round table at the Atlantic Council, a top American think-tank where he is a senior fellow at its South Asia Center.
Indian IT companies have to primarily depend on H-1B and L-1 visas to have Indian IT professionals on site in the US to get their jobs done.
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A delegation of Indian software industry led by NASSCOM president R Chandrasekhar is scheduled to arrive in Washington later this week for a series of meetings with US lawmakers, think tanks and government officials to sensitise them on contribution of H-1B visa to the US economy and global competitiveness of American companies.
At the same time, Tewari said that if the Trump administration goes ahead with its plan on H-1B visas, Indian IT companies must be nimble enough to look at other options.
“Today we have the necessary infrastructure in India to scale up the operation,” he said adding that Indian tech industry is in a different world all together than it was 30 years ago, when it was absolutely essential to have onsite person.
“If US Government reconsiders its position on H-1B visas, it would be good for India US relationship. Otherwise it would be good for Indian companies,” Tewari said.
The US Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to start from April 3, accepting H-1B petitions for 2017-2018 fiscal year beginning October 1.
The White House has not indicated when the President Donald Trump intends to sign the executive order, a draft version of which has been leaked to the press weeks ago.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer yesterday told reporters that the priority of the administration right now is on illegal immigrants.
Responding to a question, Spicer said legal immigration is a completely separate subject.
“That includes visa reform and all that other stuff. The President has talked about that. He’s talked about it with business leaders, H-1B visas, et cetera,” he said.