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IT Firms Probably to send more work to India as the US Proposes H1B Visa changes

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Indian IT services organizations are probably going to set up offshoring and local hiring in the United States. As wages paid to H1B visa holders are expected to go up owing to a new submission by the Donald Trump government.

A proposal in this regard was submitted by the DoL (Department of Labor) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (under Office of Management and Budget) a week ago. In fact that the fine print isn’t publicly available. So legal experts are of the idea that this would change the compensation conditions of H1B, L1, and other non-immigrant visa holders.

Regarding the details about the proposed wage changes, it’s hard to quantify the effect on Indian IT organizations. However, it will certainly inflate the expense of the H1B visa talent pool. Additionally, it may increase offshoring and localization efforts of Indian IT players,” said Ruchi Burde, assistant VP, BOB Capital Markets.

“Apparently the DoL is expanding the compensation level for H1B classification of visa holders, to bring it on a par with Americans,” said Raunak Singh, founding partner, Avitr Legal.

“The rationale behind this change seems to be that the US Government plans to facilitate the employment of Americans. By bringing the pay levels of H1B visa holders on a par with Americans. The employers may not get the benefit of employing foreign laborers at lower wage rates.”

Indian IT Services: H1B Visa Changes

The majority of the large Indian IT services players, for example, Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, and HCL Technologies, have signaled expanded offshoring efforts and opting for local hires in the United States. Especially to address immigration-related challenges.

<<EB3 India Filing Date Advances 5 Years: October Visa Bulletin>>

Earlier this month, Infosys had said it would employ 12,000 American workers throughout the following two years. Creating a 25,000-strong workforce in the US for more than five years. Around 60% of the US workforce are local hires.

Wipro reported that offshore income from services rose to 48.5% in the June quarter, from 48.2% in the March quarter, and 47.7% for a similar period a year ago. The figure stood level at 72 percent for Infosys. TCS and HCL Technologies don’t reveal the offshore income mix in their quarterly statements.

According to a recent HDFC Securities report, each 1% gain in US onsite cost, the effect on operating margins is 27/40 basis points for tier-I/tier-II IT firms.

However, it is 6th time such a rule is proposed since its first introduction in fall 2017. Yet it actually keeps on being under a similar phase of the federal rule-making process. “Considering the elections practically around the corner (November 2020), there is a strong likelihood that we may see a hike in wage levels for the H1B class of visa holders,” said Singh of Avitr Legal.

The proposed guideline targets prevailing compensation rates for H1B, H1B1 visas. For guest laborers in specialty occupations from Chile and Singapore, and E-3 specialty occupation laborers from Australia.

“H1Bs, L1s, and work visas would be a temporary way to acquire high-skilled visas. It is a trade issue and not an immigrant issue as it doesn’t change the net immigration number.”

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