US immigration bill may harm Indian IT firms
Gang-of-eight in action Washington (PTI): The bi-partisan group of eight US Senators has come out with eight killer provisions in its comprehensive ...
Gang-of-eight in action Washington (PTI): The bi-partisan group of eight US Senators has come out with eight killer provisions in its comprehensive immigration reform bill, which if passed by the Congress, may prove to be detrimental to the interests of major Indian IT companies. The Senators, also known as the gang of eight, has put forward provisions in the bill, which when signed into law by the President, can harm the interests of Indian IT companies and professionals. India's Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao has already flagged the concerns of the Indian companies on the proposed immigration reforms in her meeting with a top American Senator. "Highlighting the rapidly growing trade and economic engagement between India and the US, Rao conveyed her deep appreciation to Senator (Robert) Menendez for his support for high-skilled immigration, an issue of significant interest for Indian businesses in the US," Indian Embassy spokesman M Sridharan stated earlier. The first killer provision in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill is the ban on client site placement for H-1B Workers. Under this any H-1B dependent employer, would be flatly prohibited from placing H-1B workers at client sites or contracting for the services of those workers. Secondly, the bill proposes new restrictions on client site placement for L-1 workers. As a result, the Indian IT Company would not be able to place L-1 workers (whether specialised or managerial) at client sites (in US) unless the company supervised and controlled those workers and the parent US company attests that for 90 days before and after the L-1 petition filing it had not laid off any employees in the same area performing similar job duties. Third, the bill places limit on total percentage of H-1B and L-1 Workers. The bill imposes a limit on the percentage of H-1B and L-1 workers that could make up a company's workforce in the US. The US India Business Council and Confederation of Indian Industry have already opposed. The fourth provision is said to be the proposed further increase in certain categories of H-1B visas that is targeting Indian IT companies. A company with more than 50 per cent H-1B or L-1 workers currently pays an additional fee of $2,250 for L-1 petitions and $2,000 for H-1B petitions. Under the comprehensive immigration bill proposals, the additional fee would rise to $5,000 beginning in fiscal 2015 through 2024 for employers with more than 30 per cent and less than 50 per cent H-1B and L-1B workers.