Changes in visa rules to have serious adverse consequences on US economy: Nasscom

New Delhi: The recent work visa-related changes announced by the US will have "potentially serious adverse consequences" on the American economy as it will make it more difficult for companies to employ skilled foreign nationals to fill critical skills gaps in the US, Indian IT body Nasscom said on Monday.

One of the changes, which come into effect on 11 September, allows US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicators full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID).

Besides, a memo issued on 28 June switches the authority to issue Notices to Appear (NTAs) in most instances from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to USCIS.


Representational image. Reuters

According to Nasscom, this could mean that USCIS can issue a NTA and initiate removal proceedings if someone's H-1B visa expires, even while they are waiting for an extension request to be adjudicated.

"This policy memorandum, combined with others previously announced, will harm the US companies and discourage the best and brightest globally from wanting to work in the US and contribute to the US economy," it added.

The industry body highlighted that this is particularly important at a time when the US labour market is tight within the technology sector, where there is a large skills gap. Nasscom argued that foreign workers help US businesses "thrive and grow".

"The result will likely be less growth and innovation in the US. And equally as important, the ability of US companies to remain competitive will be diminished if they can't access the skilled workers they need. Even if that is not the intent, that is sure to be the result," Nasscom warned.

It added that the body will work with partners and allies to fully analyze this new policy, monitor its implementation, and advocate for the needed reforms.

Updated Date: Jul 17, 2018 09:35 AM

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