August 6, 2010

New U.S. Visa Fees to Hit Indian Firms

Just yesterday, in order to raise funds for security measures to curtail illegal immigration on the U.S./Mexico border, The U.S. Senate passed a measure that will raise visa application and renewal fees for companies whose workforces are more than 50% foreign workers. Fees will be raised to the neighborhood of $4000 for applications and renewals of H1-B and L1 visas. Passed in the Senate, this bill will now go to the House for approval.

While this won’t directly impact Comrise, this measure (if passed) will be a major blow to other IT Staffing firms like Tata and Wipro, who specialize in helping to bring foreign skilled laborers to the U.S. companies who need their skills. With the majority of their eggs in one basket, these so-called “H1 shops” will have to reconcile these new costs with their existing financial schemes. While they’ll surely try to pass some of these new costs onto the visa holders themselves, these higher fees will certainly impact their business models and their bottom lines.

But, more broadly, what does this measure mean for the American workforce and marketplace, specifically in IT? Will this measure make more room for U.S.-born skilled professionals, as Senator Schumer has argued? Or is an overly protectionist measure, and therefore against WTO regulations, as the staffing firms most directly impacted by this measure argue?

Another question raised by college statistics as they’re released every year, are there even enough American skilled laborers in the market to satisfy the needs of the marketplace? Or is this measure going to force out H1 candidates who don’t even have American counterparts to replace them?

Well, dear reader, what do you think? Good move? Bad move? Irrelevant move? (This isn’t a rhetorical question – discuss below!)

Should this measure pass the House, it seems it’ll only be a matter of time before the answers are revealed…

No comments:

Post a Comment