Bangalore: The visa fees of the skilled workers to the USA have been raised significantly. The law to this effect was passed in the US senate last week. The steep rise is going to be a heavy blow to the Indian IT companies who send thousands of IT professionals every year to the USA. Indian companies take 12% of the total H1B visa issued every year by the US authorities.
As per the new measures, companies which have got more than half of their US staff on h1B or L-1 visas will have to pay a special new fee for every worker. The total fees may reach to thousands of dollars. Som Mittal of Nasscom is of the view that if the new law of the Obama administration is implemented, the Indian companies will face an increase of cost of $200 million to $250 million in human resources cost. He has also mentioned that only the big IT companies will get affected by the increase in fees and that includes giants like Wipro Limited, Infosys Technologies, Satyam Computers and TCS. Now the Indian companies have planned to start strong lobbying against the new law.
The US software giants like Microsoft Corporation and Intel will be able to save themselves from this law since their foreign workers are composed of less than 50% of their global workforce. Mr. Mittal feels that the way it has been done, a majority of the Indian companies will get affected but not the USA ones.
Infosys Technologies has said in an official statement that it is unfortunate that the tax has been imposed on a discretionary basis and it is unjust in a scenario where companies want uniform conditions in a competitive global marketplace.
Indian software companies get about 60% of their combined $50 billion in annual revenue from the USA. To support this revenue growth, Indian companies have thousands of employees in the US where they are needed to work in the sites of the clients which are mostly banks and big insurance companies.