India’s tech industry hails Joe Biden’s stand on immigration, H-1B rules

India’s tech industry hails Joe Biden’s stand on immigration, H-1B rules

The Indian tech industry has welcomed the US President Joseph Biden’s stand on immigration and H-1B visa.

“President Biden has pledged a new approach on Trade and Immigration, as well as a renewed and revitalised interest in science and technology. We appreciate President Biden’s commitment to review and make necessary changes to harmful regulatory policies put in place by the previous administration,” said National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) in a statement on Thursday.

The previous Donlad Trump administration had placed several curbs and made unfavourable changes to the H-1B visa rules, that is most commonly used by Indian software engineers to travel to the US for work.

Dexpite many representations from various quarters, the Trump administration had brought in harsh rules such as requiring selection of H-1B workers based upon highest salary, paying foreign workers significantly higher wages, redefined the employer-employee relationships and so on.

In a memo on Wednesday, the Biden administration either withdrew or froze some of these provisions.

ALSO READ: Biden’s immigration bill proposes to scrap country cap, to help IT in India

“A modern US immigration system drives innovation,” said Jason Oxman, Information Technology Industry (ITI) President and CEO. “The Biden-Harris Administration’s planned actions make important and overdue investments in immigration reforms that can successfully meet the demands of a globally competitive, digital economy, including expanded visa programs for high-skilled workers and families,” he added.

added that a key challenge the technology sector faces is the lack of required STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) talent in the US, clearly highlighted by the high degree of overall unemployment on one hand, and over 750,000 plus job vacancy postings for jobs in computer occupations as of 13 January 2021, a 20 per cent increase since May 2020.

“That is, despite high degree of overall unemployment in US, demand for high-tech skills continues to remain robust – clearly endorsing the argument that there are just not enough workers with relevant skills to fill them. The rules announced by the previous administration will worsen this talent gap. has been actively engaged with US policy makers on these issues, and we look forward to working together with the new US Administration to find solutions to the STEM skills gap, and enable America to be more competitive, to grow and create more jobs,” said in the statement.

The Indian technology industry makes significant contributions to the US economy and workforce, including local investments and job-creation, workforce development and upskilling their US employees.

NASSCOM member companies have an important history in the US; they work with over three-quarters of the Fortune 500 companies in the US, providing them vital technology services and helping them innovate, compete, and grow. India-US bilateral trade increased by over 400 per cent since 2005, with total increase in value from $37 billion in 2005 to $149 billion in 2019. Technology sectors of both countries have played a critical role in driving this.

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