'H1B visa reduction to affect Indian IT industry'

By siliconindia staff writer   |   Monday, 25 August 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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The U.S move to reduce the number of H1B visas to 65,000 from 1.95 lakh from next month will affect the Indian industry in the long run, Nasscom president Kiran Karnik said on Friday.

NEW DELHI: "The IT industry is concerned. We have been having some discussions, Indian embassy in US has also been involved," he told PTI on the sidelines of a conference on distance learning.

"It's an issue that substantially affects US industry. Therefore, US associations and chambers also are taking it up because they have been the beneficiary," he added.

While Nasscom has not estimated the impact on Indian industry or movement of professionals due to lower number of H1B visas, he said, "It depends on what numbers finally come out. It's not going to have any immediate impact as these visas are extendable for three years. There are already people with these visas. They will continue to be there".

However, the new visas will get restricted. There could be an impact over a period of time, he said.

"We are quite actively engaged on this."

Union IT and Communications Minister Arun Shourie said on Thursday in Parliament that India was discussing with the US the issues of reduction of professional visa quota.

"India is taking up with the United States the issue of reduction of H1B visas for specialised workers as it would affect movement of Indian software professionals to that country," he told Rajya Sabha.

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