Source: Wall Street Journal
NEW DELHI—Legislation that passed the U.S. Senate last Thursday would significantly increase fees for skilled-worker visas, a move that would deal a financial blow to Indian technology-outsourcing companies that send thousands of employees to the U.S. each year.
The measure, which was attached to a $600 million border-security spending bill that senators passed just before leaving for their August recess, would require all companies with U.S. staff that have more than half their U.S.-based employees on H1-B or L-1 visas to pay thousands of dollars in special new fees for each worker.
Som Mittal, president of Indian technology industry trade group Nasscom, said Indian companies could face $200 million to $250 million in increased human-resources costs annually if the bill becomes law. The measure now awaits action in the U.S. House, and Indian companies plan to mount a fierce lobbying campaign against it.
All of the biggest Indian tech companies would be affected by the fee increases, Mr. Mittal said, including giants such as Wipro Ltd., Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.
Big U.S. tech companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp. would almost certainly avoid the fees because their foreign workers make up less than 50% of their overall U.S. work force. An Intel spokesman said Friday, “We are aware of the legislation, we did not take a position on it and are not impacted by it.”
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