United States is now considering new regulation to stop extension of stay beyond h1b visa validity for green card applicants. Norms are also being tightened for granting extension after the initial 3 years under H1B visa program. (the extension used to be almost certain).
This is a major setback to thousands of Indians who currently work in US. Analysts estimate that this could result in the deportation of as many as 5 lakh to 7 lakh predominantly Indian skilled workers.
Already, under Donald trump administration, Indian IT companies are increasingly recruit local people for new job openings. This new move by Trump administration will be a major setback for people who work in US under H1B visa program.
This partially affects IT companies as local hires in US may not work 24/7 like Indian employees. They are also forced to pay more for hiring local people. But IT companies will try to manage by hiring Indians who are already settled with green cards in the US. Even then, it affects the profit margins due to paying higher salary to US citizens.
But let us see what effect this is going to create on the condition of ‘poor’ IT employees in India. If several thousand Indian employees return back, IT sector will be filled with more senior people. Already companies are trying to retrench senior members as part of their layoff exercise and as more Indians return back, it increases the chance of more termination at senior levels.
If junior employees think that it is not going to affect them, think again. During the last 10 years, nearly 50% of employees in major companies travelled abroad for onsite work after they gain experience of an average 5 years. Many body shopping agencies helped Indian employees to get placed onsite. This helped people to earn more and settle faster (retire from employment) in life.
An IT employee who has spent 5 years onsite can handle layoffs with the backing of savings made. Reduction of onsite positions will deny this avenue to increase overall savings for the current generation software Engineers. After they gain experience and when affected by layoffs, it will be much more difficult for them to face life without job.
Honeymoon period of IT industry is over and IT is no longer the most favoured sector in India. IT employees should prepare to face layoff threats from the start of their career and prepare themselves better to protect themselves from these chaos created by corporate policies.
IT labour union is very much needed to help employees face crisis situations. Things will get complicated in the coming years due to various developments. Growth of unions will be definitely faster in the coming years. So managing financial needs better and joining unions for protecting employment rights is the way to face such crisis situation in better way.
I hope NDLF IT Employees Wing will become much stronger to help IT employees to face their work issues more confidently.