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US Immigration Bill Offers Opportunities, Challenges: TCS

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Country's largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said on Thursday, 18 April 2013 the proposed US Immigration Bill offers both opportunities as well challenges, but stated it is too early to arrive at a conclusion.

"It is too early to comment. We will have to wait and watch...but it has both opportunities and concerns. Our goal is to engage in the process as the bill is being debated," TCS executive vice-president and head of global human resources Ajoy Mukherjee told reporters during a post earnings media round-table here.

"Good that it is comprehensive but what are going to be the restrictions are some of the concerns," he said.

Officially called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernisation Act, 2013, the Bill being pushed by the Obama administration gives the domestic IT professionals in the US a 60-day period to find a new job after they lose the existing one, among several other sweeping reforms.

The bill has been already introduced in the US Senate and Congressional hearing begins Friday.

Obama has already backed the Bill that seeks to put curbs on the use of H-1B visa for those companies which have a higher ratio of work force under this category.

Out of the USD 108 billion software exports from the country, as much as USD 46 billion comes from the US alone and most of the domestic IT companies fall under this classification. As a result, these companies will also have to shell out more fees to get H-1B visas, if the draft legislation is cleared by the Congress and is signed into law by Obama.

The bill specifies that if an employer has 50 or more employees, and over 30 per cent but less than 50 per cent are H-1B or L-1 employees (who do not have a green card petition pending), the employer will need to pay a USD 5,000 fee per additional worker in either of these two statuses, the outline of the bill said.

In case the employer has 50 or more employees and more than 50 per cent of these workers are H-1B or L-1 employees who do not have a green card petition pending, then the companies will have to pay a $10,000 fee per additional worker in either of these two statuses.

As such, domestic companies like TCS, Infosys and Wipro will have to pay USD 10,000 for each additional H-1B employee they would be hiring.

On the positive side, the bill, proposed by a bipartisan group of eight senators, will allow 11 million undocumented immigrants, including 2,40,000 Indians, to become American citizens,


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