US immigration Bill: India may lose $30 billion a year

Aug 16 2014, 02:04 IST
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SummaryThe Indian economy could lose $30 billion annually with the IT industry being the hardest hit if the immigration Bill under consideration in US Congress

The Indian economy could lose $30 billion annually with the IT industry being the hardest hit if the immigration Bill under consideration in US Congress becomes a law, Indian American Advisory Council of House Republican Conference of US Parliament has said.

The IAAC, which advises the US House of Representatives on India related issues, said the ‘US Immigration Bill S744’ calls for significantly cutting down on outsourcing of work for certain visa holders that is mostly used by Indian firms and professionals.

“If the Bill becomes a law, India's GDP gets reduced by about $30 billion a year. On top of that, employment situation will be hit. Direct impact will be that 10 million Indian IT professionals will no longer have any work and 500,000 in the US,” IAAC chairman Shalabh Kumar told PTI.

He said most of the Indian IT professionals are either working on H1B or L1 visas.

H1B Visa allows US companies to employ foreign professionals and L1 allows employee of an international company to temporarily transfer an employee to a parent branch or subsidiary of the same company in the United States.

The Bill bans outplacement of H1 or L1 visa holders if they form more than 15% of a firm’s US workforce. It also limits the proportion of H1B and L1 visa workers relative to a firm’s total US employees to 50% by financial year 2017 ,starting October 2016.

“About 98% Bill is focussed on providing relief to 20 million Hispanic Americans. Democrats wants them to give citizenship that will give them huge vote bank. If Democrats get that part of the Bill passed, they will gain at least 10 senate seats and take control of the house,” Kumar said.

He said the clause that adversely impacts India's interest was added in the Bill following complaints by some American corporations and a poll campaign slogan ‘Say No to Bangalore and Yes to Buffalo’ used by Barack Obama in 2009.

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