Impact of the proposed US Immigration Bill on the Indian IT Industry
Impact of the proposed US Immigration Bill
Key Features & Impact:
1. The proposed Bill prohibits companies from obtaining further visas under following
a. In 2014 if more than 75% of their staff are H-1B or L-1 employees.
b. 2015 will see the ban applying to companies with more than 65% of their
workforce is H-1B and L-1 workers and
c. In 2016, the ban moves to 50%.
It is to be noted that most Indian IT companies have 50-80% of their staff as H-1B or
L-1 visa holders currently.
2. For companies having 50 or more employees, and more than 50% H-1B or L-1
employees and not having green card petition pending, the employer must pay a USD
10,000 fee per additional worker.
3. Employees on H1B visas may not be allowed to work at the customer sites, but they
can work from global delivery centres. This would require a business model change
for Indian IT companies and raise the cost on onsite staffing.
4. Employers will have to post a detailed job opening on the Department of Labor's
website for at least 30 days before hiring an H1B applicant to fill that position. This
would lead to execution delays, adversely impacting the competitiveness of Indian IT
5. The proposed Bill makes it easier for H-1B workers to change employers and limits
employers’ ability to place L-1 workers with other employers.
6. While the proposals in the immigration bill do not mean to promote off-shoring, it
could turn out to be one of the unintended consequences. Higher visa costs and local
hiring will make onsite work more expensive, and incentivise IT companies and their
clients to opt for less onsite work.
Intense lobbying by Indian government, Nasscom and some US clients of Indian IT service
providers is underway to make amends in the proposed bill. Nasscom has engaged
Washington-based lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers to amplify its concerns on
restrictive clauses in the Comprehensive Immigration Bill. The IT apex body is working with
a host of advocacy groups, including US India Business Council (USIBC), Tech America and
Compete America, to mitigate the impact of visa restrictions on India's $108 billion IT
industry. Nasscom has spent close to $30,000 on lobbying in the January-March period to
work around the visa issues that make hiring Indian talent overseas unattractive.