IT&Software

India examining consequences of Australia's visa abolition: MEA

India examining consequences of Australia's visa abolition: MEA

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has "strongly raised" the H-1B visa issue with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, highlighting the important role played by highly skilled Indian professionals in America, officials said.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Gopal Baglay said India was also in touch with the Australian government regarding the changes in that country's work visa programme.

"There is the mutuality of interests involved over here", he said.

With Britain already hiking the minimum wage requirement to euro 35,000 for tier II visa immigrants, this latest move by the U.S. will act as a definitive dampener to the Indian outsourcing industry.

Meanwhile, former Infosys chief financial officer V. Balakrishnan said that the tightening work visa rules in overseas markets will force India's IT industry to reconfigure the business model by increasing offshoring work and hiring locally.

He said that the government is talking to industry bodies as the matter directly concerns Indian workers in the IT industry.

The MEA spokesperson also said India had already conveyed to the United States about the contribution of Indian IT professionals to the the country's competitiveness and innovation.

Trump and other critics of the program say it is abused by those Indian firms, who - they claim - flood the visa lottery with applications and then send workers to the USA on salaries that undercut their American counterparts. ALSO READ: H-1B Visa: Will US Prez Donald Trump's new executive order impact Indian IT cos?

"In general, we believe that the current campaign to discredit our sector is driven by persistent myths such as ideas that H-1B visa holders are "cheap labour" and "train their replacements", neither of which is accurate", it said.

"So, once that process takes place, then we will have to make an assessment depending upon the details at that stage of the changes made". "We are essentially seeing that countries are trying to define skilled workers more precisely and bring curbs on immigration while opening the doors for high-skilled workers", Chandrashekhar pointed out.

The shortage of skilled domestic talent is more in IT, healthcare, education and other fields across the US.

The order is expected to be more symbolic than tough, and most Indian companies seem to have factored the possibilities in their strategies.

The US has recently accused the Indian IT companies of misusing the H-1B visa regime.

The H1B visa programme is most sought-after by Indian IT firms and professionals to work on customer sites.

The program, known as 457 visa, allows businesses in Australia to employ foreign workers for a period up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers.


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