US Immigration Policy: The Impact of H-1B Visa on Indian IT companies

Author:   Vijay Kumar Soni and Dr Sadananda Sahoo
Publisher:   GRFDT
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The US Immigration Policy, with the H-1B visa in general and Indian IT industries in particular, has often been discriminatory. In September 2015, it introduced the Omnibus Bill whereby the supplemental visa fees was not only doubled but was made applicable for ten years. It also expanded its scope and operation, thus harming the Indian IT companies, which was its largest user group. The provision led to the imposition of around USD 4 billion on Indian companies. The Indian IT companies opposed the Bill tooth and nail, but it had little impact. It was a massive setback to the Indian IT companies as thousands of Indian IT workers who were on H-1B visa had changed their location in the US. According to one estimate, the new clause led to the loss of some USD 40 million to the Indian IT-BPM industry. What followed thereafter was a strong lobbying and follow-up by the Indian IT companies and industry association. As a result, the USCIS withdrew its “retroactively” clause and the Indian IT industry breathed a sigh of relief. The paper attempts to investigate the fallout of immigration policy using secondary data and content analysis from various sources, including policy papers, economic report and industrial outlook of the IT sector.
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