US visa fee hike wont affect Indian IT

The recent move by the US to raise visa fee for Indian IT professionals will not impact Indias competitive edge in the global market,said Nasscom president...

Written by Fe Bureau | Bangalore | Published:August 20, 2010 3:01 am

The recent move by the US to raise visa fee for Indian IT professionals will not impact India’s competitive edge in the global market,said Nasscom president,Som Mittal. “India will find that its own equilibrium and new business models need to be followed to handle the situation in the future,” said Mittal on Thursday.

He said it’s not about offshore or onshore models,and who does work from which part of the world. Rather,it is about developing new models to drive business. Speaking to the press at the Annual Nasscom Quality Forum,he said the move by the US government may have a long-term impact as companies could think of moving near shore. “But it can be handled by Indian IT firms,by developing new business models.”

Calling the visa fee hike as a discriminatory step,he said,“Discrimination of this nature is in violation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) clauses and the General Trade and Tariffs Agreement (GATT) norms. If there is infringement of GATT and WTO,there is provision for that and India will take a strong stand on this.”

However,he noted that it is still not clear how the Bill will be implemented as there is no specific guidelines to follow as such. Under the the Border Security Bill,the US authority has raised fees by at least $2,000 for certain categories of H1B and L1 visas for the next five years,adding costs to Indian firms. Mittal further noted that the US should not confuse between trade and immigration. “The US should introduce specific employment or service visa,” he added.

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