On a visit to India, Congressman Bob GoodLatte heads a delegation of eight US representatives regarding the ongoing concerns of H1-B visa holders. Indian IT companies fret the new Trump administration shaking up their industry.
After the meeting with IT minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rep. GoodLatte said that President Donald Trump will address the immigration policy soon. Rep. GoodLatte, the chairman of house judiciary committee, plays an important role in drawing policies around immigration and intellectual property.
Changes to the H-1B Visa program have huge implications on the Indian IT companies. America accounts for 65% of $155 billion Indian IT revenue. Any new regulatory changes confront stark economic realities.
US and India enjoy a good relationship historically. India and US compliments and supplements each other in several areas especially with Indian talent adding value to US firms and the biggest examples are Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai.
Literally tens of thousands of bright Indians work in the US and become Americans and create new jobs as well. Nearly 75% of all Fortune-500 companies are serviced by Indian IT firms, and that some of the top IT firms doing business in India, are of American origin, such as Cisco, Google and Amazon.
Business thrives in environments with transparency and certainty. The suspense that the Trump Administration hangs over the H-1B visa program does not help at all. Currently, Indian IT firms suck up over 60% of the H-1B visas subject to the cap that private employers face. Most cap exempt employers hire scientists for education, research and medicine.
Indian IT sector, contributes 9.3% to the country’s GDP, and employs of 3.7 million people. The uncertainty has led to drop in value, and fall in employment. Stocks like InfoSys are nearly at a 52-week low.
The US has introduced the Lofgren Bill, which proposes the minimum wages being doubled to $130,000. The current H1-B minimum wage of $60,000 has not changed since 1989.
However, most H1-B visa holders earn an average of $100,000, according to consultancy firm, Greyhound Research — but only because most H-1B visas held outside of Indian IT firms pay over $100,000.
India may fear a new regulation that dents the stranglehold that a handful of companies have over the H-1B visa. The employers still need top tech talent. If the Indian IT firms have to pay more, it can open up more H-1B visas for American firms that need those specialty skills.