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H1-B visa suspension to affect Indian IT firms

The US government has decided to suspend premium processing of H1-B visas from April 3.

The temporary suspension of premium H1-B visa processing by the US administration would delay their issue to the Indian IT firms too but is not a major impediment, said industry's representative body Nasscom on Sunday.

"The temporary suspension of premium H-1B processing will create some process delays for the companies - Indian and American -- but is not a significant impediment," said the National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom) in a statement.

The US government has decided to suspend from April 3 premium processing of H1-B visas, which allowed some companies to jump the queue. Any company could get an H-1B visa in 15 days by paying $1,225 as an additional premium for processing their application as against 3-6 months in the normal course.

"The temporary move will not be an impediment for the $110 billion exporting software industry," said Nasscom, but noted it will delay the issue of H-1B visas to Indian IT firms by six months. 

The suspension came even as New Delhi pressed for a fair and rational approach on the matter from a trade and business perspective.

Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia had told US officials and lawmakers in Washington to treat the visa issue under trade and services and not as an immigration matter.


Nasscom said: "Any change in the visa regime puts pressure on the Indian IT firms as they may result in their operational costs rising and a shortage of skilled techies for the outsourcing industry."

"We will take up the issue with the US embassy in India to ensure the movement of our professionals is not hit by process issues," it added.

The US market contributes about 60 per cent of the export revenue for the Indian software sector, led by TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL and others.

Source: Qatarday

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