If US caps work visas, American firms will suffer more: Nasscom

If US caps work visas, American firms will suffer more: Nasscom
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Reuters

After the United States (US) reportedly told India that H-1B work visas, used largely by the tech industry, could be capped for nations that ask foreign companies to store data locally, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) said the move will impact American information technology (IT) firms more than Indian counterparts. 

Following a Reuters report on Wednesday that the US had told India it could cap H-1B visa programmes for countries with rules enforcing local data storage, the American government clarified that it has no such plans. The developments come days ahead of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to New Delhi from June 25-27.

Nasscom said that the US global leadership was made possible by its ability to attract talent from across the world and if the policies make it harder to acquire advanced tech workers, it would only negatively impact the US companies.

Nasscom added that the US companies depend on external talent to help fill their skill gaps; however, the foreseeable restrictions could put jobs at risk and create undue pressure and force to send technology services abroad.  

“In April 2019, the number of unfilled jobs stood at 7.5 million; 67% of these, or two in every three jobs, required specific technical skills,” Nasscom said.

“It is this unmet technical requirement that skilled immigrants, including workers on H-1B visas, have helped meet in the US.” Nasscom pointed out.

Nasscom said that Indian nationals accounted for a majority of all H-1B work visas in 2017 -- a testimony to their skill sets.

While only a small share of these Indian nationals is employed by Indian companies, a large percentage is sponsored by US and global multinationals.