Expected H-1B visa changes are going to hit the US rather than boosting its economy, say analysts
US President Trump had startled the world with his famous protectionism policies in his initial days of the tenure. These have garnered worldwide criticism along with appreciation. If his imposing a ban on Muslim refugees has angered the public, the prophesied changes to the current H-1B visa, on which India exports its skilled employees to the US has terrified not only Indians but also American tech giants.
In the past decade or so, India has seen an enormous boom in the IT industry and remains the foremost source of skilled IT employees to the USA. Out of 85,000 H-1B visas offered by America, more than half are taken by Indians.
National Association of Software and Services Communication (NASSCOM) estimates show that 4 million people are employed in the IT sector in the USA. R Chandrashekhar believes that these restrictions will heighten uncertainty and the US businesses will be affected. He says,” Given that there aren’t enough people with the qualifications to fill these jobs, two things can happen — these jobs can remain unfilled or companies can ship these jobs overseas. Neither is a good thing for the US.”
India and USA have a reciprocal relationship.Indian IT sector makes 60 billion dollars from the American market which in turn lets it maintain its top position. Should the changes happen to these H-1B visa, America will lose more than India and its current top position in this field will surely be jeopardised along with the collapse of the strong economic bond shared by both the countries.
Foreboding the scale of Indian IT business that is on its high now, DD Mishra, an analyst at a technology research company, Gartner, says that India should focus on expanding the business at Asian-Pacific level instead of depending anymore on America. Same is the belief of Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani, who says, “It is unfortunate that we are talking about protectionism and creating artificial trade barriers in the age of globalisation.”
The changes have thwarted the aspirations of many Indian students like Sunny Nair who dreamt of working in America. But President Trump’s policies of protectionism and his motto, ‘America First’ has though made him change his course but is not left without any option. But the path that America is heading towards is believed by many experts as the wrong one.