No link between job loss and H-1B visa: Nasscom

Via The Hindu

  • Indian IT professionals have helped create jobs in U.S.
  • H-1B visa holders pay taxes and social security

    NEW DELHI: The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has said that any reduction in the number of H-1B visas to Indian IT firms will only reduce the competitiveness of the IT industry in the US. It has also refuted claims that there were any direct linkages between the visa programme and job loss in the U.S.

    In its letter to the two US Senators — Chuck Grassley and Richard Durbin — written on behalf of the nine Indian IT companies which were asked by the Senators to furnish details about their H-1B visa programmes, Nasscom has said that the contributions made by H-1B visa holders to innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. has resulted in job creation on a large scale.

    Quoting a 2006 survey conducted by “Money Magazine”, the association has stated that there was no linkage between layoffs and the H-1 B visa, besides reiterating that the number of H-1B visas was currently very limited.

    The IT trade body has also expressed concern over the specific clause in the US Immigration Bill, introduced by the two Senators, that “prohibits companies from hiring H-1B employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50 per cent of their employees are H-1B visa holders”. Scaling down of the H-1B visa is being seen as a “protectionist measure” on the part of the American lawmakers, the letter added.

    Stressing that H-1B visas are beneficial for the U.S. as well as Indian companies, and also to the U.S. economy, Nasscom has said many U.S. industry leaders have repeatedly stressed the need to raise the H-1B visa cap, which was reduced from 1.95 lakh to 65,000 two years ago.

    H-1B visa holders pay taxes and social security. Additionally, in the past two years, to combat potential fraud in H-1B and L-1 visas, companies have paid more than $300 million in government-imposed fees to fund a U.S. State Department effort.

    The association has not only offered its help and cooperation while dealing with the visa fraud issue but has also supported the Senators’ views that any fraudulent activity should be dealt with in the strictest possible manner. It has offered to meet and discuss the issue with the Senators.

    It may be recalled that recently the two senators had asked nine Indian companies — Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Satyam Computer Services, Patni Computer Systems, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, i-flex solutions, Tech Mahindra Americas and MphasiS — to give details about their H-1B visa programmes.

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