IT Outsourcers to Work around U.S. Immigration Bill Capping Work Visas

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By Jacob Cherian | July 30, 2013 1:19 PM EST

In a consecutive series of legislative events, the U.S., Canada and Australia have addressed unemployment and immigration by reducing outsourcing to these countries. What appears to be a legitimate move to create more jobs for residents, analysts say is also plain rhetoric by political leaders to get higher on the popularity rating.

There is also no doubt that racial and ethnic flair-ups are a part of multi-ethnic communities and joblessness affects how local residents perceive foreign nationals, particularly when it comes to work visas.

One loophole around the immigration bill proposed by the U.S. to curtail the number of work visas is to have more employees on the list of green card (permanent residence) applicants. The new immigration bill does not include 'intending immigrants' who have begun their filing for green cards as part of the work visas a company owns.

Subsequently, Indian outsourcers like Infosys, Tata Consultancy, and Wipro are seeing greater staffing potential in sponsoring green card visa holders rather than work visas defined in the new immigration legislation.

CEO of Mumbai-based Hexaware Technologies, PR Chandrasekhar said in a Times of India article, "We are already ramping up hiring of workers in the United States and will start offering more green card sponsorships to our employees," adding, "With these steps we think any impact of the rules on us would be very limited."

U.S. analysts say that this will give India more leverage in hiring employees within the country and alleviate some of the pressure stemming from the proposed bill.

The bill proposed by the U.S. Senate maintains a limit to the number of H1-B visas that can be created each year.

"Converting visa holders to green card holders would be a key strategy to mitigate the impact of the bill. If a company puts 90% of the eligible employees on the path to receive a green card, it would exempt them from the outplacement clause," IDFC analyst Hitesh Shah, said most IT companies would consider this path, reports the Times of India.

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