Feb 2, 2017

India's tech sector starts lobbying against H-1B visa changes

Kim Hart, author of Cities

Aijaz Rahi / AP File Photo

India-based IT services companies are heading to Washington to lobby against new restrictions on a temporary work-visa program that they use heavily to recruit talent, Bloomberg reports.

Industry group Nasscom represents India's largest tech companies — including Tata Consultancy, Wipro and Infosys — whose stocks have taken a beating this week ahead of a Trump executive order expected to start the process of reprioritizing the visa lottery system in favor of the highest-paying jobs.

Why it matters: These India-based tech companies are among the largest users of the H-1B visa program. New visa restrictions would make it more expensive for these firms to hire workers, who are often used to staff corporate IT departments for U.S. companies. Or, they could be pulled to the back of the line in the visa application pool, also making it difficult to find talent. Several bills have been introduced in Congress aiming to reform the program.

What they're saying: "We want to help the officials and lawmakers understand the gains for the U.S. economy and the benefits to Americans because of businesses using Indian IT services," said Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar.

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