How Indian IT Sector Will Get Affected By the H-1B Visa
The H-1B visa is intended for specialty occupations that typically require a college education. All the giant companies use them in two main ways to hire technology workers. Various tech firms like Microsoft and Google typically hire highly skilled, well-paid foreign workers that are in short supply. This way, they help many of them secure so-called green cards that allow them to work in the US permanently. On the other side various IT firms like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services are based in India. They make use of the visas to deploy lower-paid contractors that critics say rarely end up with green cards.
Once in a year, H-1B visas are assigned through a lottery by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Companies filed 236,000 petitions for the 85,000 available visas, a cap set in US law.
It would be not wrong to say that the Indian IT industry makes about 60 per cent of its $100 billion plus revenue from the US through the jobs outsourced by companies in America. Indian IT companies may have to shell out higher wages, if reforms in the H-1B system see minimum wages going up for foreign workers.
Already, the Indian IT sector is facing various challenges from a shrinking pie for its traditional services business, and increasing competition to narrowing margins. However, industry body Nasscom is all set to revise growth for the sector down to single digits in 2018. But the question is what will happen if the companies in the US are forced to limit outsourcing. There may be a bigger risk for these companies.
It is expected that the big five Indian IT companies may be more successful in being able to get the necessary talent as they have been spending on brand building in the US too. Companies, who have also been spending on several CSR initiatives in the US are Infosys, TCS, HCL Technologies and Wipro.