H1-B visa: Indian IT firms expect positive engagement with Biden-led US govt: Nasscom chairman


Bengaluru | Mumbai: The Indian IT industry expects to have positive engagement with the Biden administration in the United States for movement of talent, Nasscom’s Chairman U.B. Pravin Rao said.

The chief operating officer of Infosys Ltd. said the new administration’s decision to stay some of the Trump administration’s executive orders on immigration is a positive move.

“They have stayed some of the executive orders which were passed by the previous administration. So, our expectation is this administration will be much more consultative, they will discuss with all the stakeholders and Biden in the past has also been pro-immigration from that perspective,” Rao said at the industry body’s strategic review conference.

The Biden administration would “obviously” do what is right for the US and the Indian IT industry’s value proposition is the same, he said. “We have contributed significantly in making American companies contribute to the local economy, to job creation.”

US President Joe Biden has put on hold a proposal by predecessor Donald Trump that sought to prioritise grant of H-1B visas to high wage earners, an order that could have impacted IT firms in terms of talent movement. The implementation of the executive order has now been delayed from March 9 to December 31 this year.

The proposed rule sought to replace the existing lottery system with a process where applicants with higher salaries would automatically gain precedence in the queue for visas.

For the next fiscal’s (FY22) applications, the US administration would continue with the existing lottery process.

“…during the pandemic we have kept some of the critical infrastructure for health financial services running during this crisis as well. So there’s a clear recognition, and I think we have always advocated free mobility of talent and hopefully we will have positive engagement with the new administration,” Rao said.

He pointed out that any proposal or changes in US immigration policy would eventually give opportunities to encourage movement of top talent.

“America still wants the best talent there, because that helps them grow and be competitive. So any law they come up with…I believe there will be opportunities for sending people from here.”

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