WASHINGTON – Looks like U.S. has decided to single out India by declining L1 visas for Indian professionals while professional from other parts of the world are given L1 visas. The L1 visa denial rate is more for India than any other country. Software giants in India- Infosys and TCS whose biggest clients are in U.S. are complaining to the industry lobbyist, Nasscom about the difficulty and how it is upsetting the businesses.
L1 Visas which are known as short term work visas for professionals went down by 28 percent at 25,898 in 2011, whereas the quota for professionals from other countries rose by 15 percent. “This shows an enormous gap in visas issued as well as approval/denial rates between posts in India and the rest of the world, raising policy questions as to whether this great disparity is the result of a conscious policy at US posts in India,” the National Foundation for American Policy wrote in its report.
Every year Indian software companies send about 25,000-35,000 Indians to U.S. on work assignments. About 40 percent of the visas which is given to professionals come under L1 visas. Professionals, who are highly skilled in their field, have immense knowledge about their work and who carry the tag of Project manager is given L1 visas.
The U.S. government showing discrimination to India has been justified by pulling up the issue of an American employee of Infosys who accused the company for misusing the short term work B1 visa for doing some software coding where as the visa had to be used only for client meetings. The $70 billion Indian IT sector is under complete scrutiny as immigration rules have become more stringent and the fees for H1 and L1 visas have been increased exceptionally.
IT servicing sector has been the biggest back bone for Indian economy and major revenue is churned from it. Banking on the booming servicing business, there are many home grown companies now. With the competition getting stiffer between the mid size and the giants, every visa denial is a pinch to their business.
“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going” is what all companies are adapting to. Finding newer solutions to visa problems, the IT firms have decided to use technologies such as telepresence to compensate for the presence of an expert at the customer’s site.