Victory for tech industry; H1B visas could double

Published: 21st March 2013 10:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st March 2013 10:16 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

In a major victory for the tech industry, US visas for high-skilled foreign workers, including those from India, could double under a bipartisan Senate immigration plan, according to the Washington Post.

The proposal would also give permanent legal status to an unlimited number of students who earn graduate degrees from US universities in science, technology, engineering or math, the influential US daily reported citing people familiar with the negotiations.

The number of H1Bs visas for highly skilled workers would approximately double from the current limit of 65,000 per year under the plan of eight senators working on a deal between the Congress and the White House to overhaul the immigration system, it said.

Critics suggest that H1B programme has become a way for outsourcing firms to bring lower-paid employees to the US. Most of the top 10 employers of H1B visa holders, for instance, are India-based technology consultancies with large US operations,

Those firms often train workers in the United States before sending them back home to do the same jobs for considerably less money, according to critics cited by the Post.

The Post cited these critics as saying that companies commonly use the visa to bring employees from India to work in the US for up to three years, train them and then return them to India to continue the same work, often for a US company buying the services from a contractor.

But advocates for tech companies welcomed the developments, describing the still-evolving immigration plan as a potential watershed moment.

"We're encouraged," Scott Corley, executive director of Compete America, a coalition of companies that includes Intel, Google, IBM and other tech giants, was quoted as saying by the Post.

The foreign-worker piece of the immigration debate has been one of the thorniest for the eight senators, who are trying to reach a full agreement among themselves by Friday, the daily said. Staffers will then take the next two weeks to draft a bill.

The Post citing familiar with the talks said the senators group has agreed to a citizenship plan that would immediately legalise millions of undocumented immigrants, including about 250,000 Indians, but would require certain expenditures on border security and internal enforcement before allowing people to gain a path to citizenship.

Stay up to date on all the latest Business news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp