As Immigration Bill hangs in the balance, Indian IT visa rejections skyrocket

The sky-high US visa rejection rates could be the beginning of a major existential crisis for Indian IT majors.
Written by Rajiv Rao, Contributing Writer

It could be seen as the unkindest cut of all — doing more to employ Americans when compared to US giants like IBM, but getting hammered for it.

Or at least that's what JPMorgan India analysts Viju George and Amit Sharma contend in a report that was cited in an article in today's Mint newspaper: "The Senate's Immigration Bill ironically favours some firms that don't do as well on job creation as those it disfavours," analysts Viju George and Amit Sharma said in the report. "The offshoring industry in India has created 30,000-40,000 jobs in the US for US citizens (this is likely to be significantly more, counting in green card and in-process green card holders)."

Meanwhile, Indian IT majors are holding their breath, as the Immigration Bill is still with the US House of Representatives and is yet to be passed in what reports say is a strongly divided Congress. If passed, it could be a major blow to all of the IT majors such as Infosys, TCS, Wipro, and Cognizant, among others.

Meanwhile, TCS has revealed that the visa rejection rate has soared from 30 percent to 50 percent, causing the firm to increase the number of people it adds to its ranks from within the US and Canada. "As far as hiring in the US and Canada is concerned, we're hiring almost 600 per quarter — so that's a significant number," said Ajoyendra Mukherjee, global head of Human Resource for TCS, in the Mint article. "We've started doing fresh hiring from the campuses in the US. This time, we've visited 35 institutes in the US." Mukherjee said that ironically, junior hires from India are actually more expensive than those in the US.

US-India relations are at an all time low following the uproar over the Devyani Khobragade incident (where the Deputy Consul General in New York was arrested and allegedly strip searched for misrepresenting how much she paid her staff), as well as the war over India's solar policy that requires sourcing a certain percentage from domestic manufacturers.

If the Immigration Bill is passed, things could get much worse.

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