Trump impact: Fearing tighter US visa regime, Indian IT Firms Rush to Hire


Bengaluru: Anticipating a more protectionist US tech visa programme under a Donald Trump administration, India’s 150 billion dollar IT services sector will speed up acquisitions in the United States and recruit more heavily from college campuses there.

When the newly elected US president Donald Trump will work in the White House in January 2017 his priorities would include tough talk on H1-B visas sources said. As a result the Indian companies have started hiring local Americans. According to the sources, major Indian IT companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro have started acquiring US companies and increased the recruitment of new staff from colleges there.

Indian IT companies have a turnover of 150 billion dollar in the US which comes to around 10 lakh 28 thousand crore in Indian rupees. Companies like TCS, Infosys and Wipro, have largely taken Indian employees in IT sector through the US H1-B visas.

According to a report, during 2005 to 2014, H1-B visa workers hired by these three companies were more than 86,000. Of these, 65,000 were temporary employees while 20-21 thousand Indians were from US universities in the fields of technology pursuing advanced degrees. Every year the US approves H1-B visa for Indian employees in thousands based on a lottery system.

During election campaign several times Trump said that US visa policy has to be tightened. Trump’s new initiatives could substantially drop hiring of Indian engineers who used H1-B visas to fly from India to US. America’s Silicon Valley-based business has been dependent on India’s cheap IT manpower and Software Solutions.

In India’s IT hub of Bengaluru and the financial capital Mumbai, executives expect a Trump administration to raise the minimum wage for foreign workers, pressuring already squeezed margins.

Buying US companies would help Indian IT firms build their local headcount, increase their on-the-ground presence in key markets and help counter any protectionist regulations by the Trump government.

In 2015 December, American Parliament had approved for H-1B and L-1 visa’s fees were doubled. H1-B visas now cost $ 4000 or Rs 2.5 lakh, while L-1 visa costs over $4500 dollar or above Rs 2.8 lakh. This increase was applicable for 10 years. The decision has had a direct impact on the Indian IT companies.

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