Going to America
- Raja 'misled' Manmohan Singh on policy matters: CBI to court
- RSS raises Ambedkar vs Mother Teresa row
- From Maldives, road to Islamic State goes via drugs, gangs and jail
- In a first, Indian military contingent to march at Moscow’s Red Square
- Maharashtra by-poll: Shiv Sena set to retain Bandra (E), NCP wins Tasgaon
A new US immigration bill holds good and bad news for Indian IT
The proposed US immigration reform bill is an ambitious attempt to overhaul the country's immigration procedures at both ends of the economic spectrum. Inevitably, political and media attention in the US will focus on the path to citizenship it lays out for some 11 million of the nation's undocumented migrants, who are primarily Hispanic, given that the fast-growing population is emerging as a powerful voting block.
But the Indian technology industry will be interested in the proposal, among others, to increase the H-1B visa quota by 69 per cent, to 1,10,000, with a provision for the cap to be raised to 1,80,000 under certain economic conditions and depending on demand. This should encourage companies like Infosys and Wipro, who have offices in the US and send thousands of workers there on H-1B visas, to keep costs down. Similarly, the technology industry in the US imports skilled labour to meet shortages, and has been lobbying for the cap to be increased or even eliminated. Measures like this one indicate that Silicon Valley is learning to translate its prosperity into greater political influence. And the growing clamour for a "startup visa" is reflected in the creation of a new visa category for foreign-born entrepreneurs. The bill also eases the path to a green card for foreign graduates from US universities in science, technology, engineering and math.