Spouses of US based Indian techies are new job seekers -30th June, 2018

The policies of President Donald Trump

The policies of President Donald Trump remain a huge threat for Indian IT professionals and their spouses in the US. He is moving to make the work visa rules, strict and has a plan to rescind the H4 employment authorization which permits spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in USA. Hence many IT professionals are returning to India.

Recruitment firms see the trend during the past one year of 100% increase in the CVs they receive from Indian IT professionals who working in the USA, and their spouses. They have also added a new profile of spouses of Indian IT professionals, seeking jobs. This is a fact as per firms like Randstad, Team Lease, Adecco, ABC Consultants and Manpower Group.

For many persons forced to leave the US, the situation is complex than just finding the job in other nations.

Plight of families

Some IT professionals, who lived in the US for over 10 years on an H-1B visa, have children born in the US and they are American citizens. They have the fear of never getting their Green Cards. If they lose their jobs, they and their children, - born as US citizens, will have to leave the country.

Moreover, software experts working in the US are presently looking for options. They still feel that job market opportunities are better in the US in comparison to other nations. Some of them have the option to return home and, they are searching for good opportunities.

Paul Dupuis, MD Randstad India says that they received 1,000 CVs from January this year, which is twice the figure of last year for the same period.

Changes in US visa policies

Indian IT companies are aware of the risk of changes in US visa policies. In fiscal 2017, Wipro had openly claimed that Trump was a risk to their business. In the recent annual report presented to the US regulators, they did not name him to be the risk. They have only highlighted the threat from the global political structure.

Additionally, Mayank Patel, Director Placement And Staffing Adecco Group India says that Till 2017 there was a low flow of Indians job seekers, from the US.

Manmeet Singh, president Experis handling IT sector in Manpower Group India says that the preferences of Indian IT professionals and their spouses who presently face US visa curtailment are Canada, Mexico and India. Major IT companies are presently setting up operations in Canada and Mexico, and Indian IT professionals intend to settle there.

More applicants today

Today half the applications for IT jobs with them arrive from H-1B visa holders. This is unlike 2017 when it was only 20%. Dupuis of Randstad India says that the biggest threat to the stability of the Indian professionals is the revocation of work-status for the people on H4 dependent visas.

This development can affect 70,000 families who work in the US. There is a possibility that many of them will be forced to repatriate to India. Team-Lease and Manpower Group confirm that 70,000 families will feel the impact soon owing to changes in US visa policy.

Some recruiters say that a few IT professionals opt to stay in US. Their spouses staying on H4 permits will relocate. Additionally, the H4 visa holders and Indian IT professionals, having less than six years experience, also plan to seek jobs in India. They are also on the lookout in countries like Sweden, Mexico, Poland and Canada.

Opinion of experts

Ratna Gupta Director ABC Consultants observed 50% increase in CVs from Indian IT professionals based in the US who have 2-6 years work experience. He says that 5 lakh Indians, will feel the impact of US visa restrictions. Many of them are looking for visas like EB5, L1A, or opting for other countries.

Rituparna Chakraborty, of Team Lease Services, says that the professionals who moved to the US in the past three-four years are vulnerable and likely to return to India.

H-1B visas are issued for a period of three years, and they also got an extension for three years. Additionally the process of extension has become difficult. The new rules say that presently a person will not get the initial full three years. The short duration may make transition from H-1B to a Green Card impossible.

Decline in share

The H-1B visa data acquired from the USCIS, says that TCS received only 2,312 H-1B visas in 2017, which was half of the 2015 figure and Infosys also had a 57% decline. Wipro had 60% decline in visa allotment.

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