Indian IT firms have long been dependent on the work visa, but a rising tide of protectionism means they are beginning to adjust their business models to reduce their reliance on the visa.
“The company is not applying for visas for employees with under four years of experience. We are talking to clients about offshoring more work to India, and the work done by junior employees can be brought to India,” an executive at the company told ET.
A second executive confirmed that the company had not raised visa requests for systems engineers and senior systems engineers, among the lowest rungs in the Infosys corporate ladder.
Earlier this year, US Congressmen have proposed a bill raising the minimum wage on the H-1B visa to over $130,000, more than double of what is mandated today. The increased rhetoric around outsourcing has also made some Infosys clients wary of being serviced by more employees on the work visas. “There are job requirements in the US, but some customers have started asking that fewer H-1B employees be deployed onsite on their projects. We are trying to hire more onshore to deal with this issue,” a third Infosys executive said.
A cursory search for professional social networking site LinkedIn shows as many as 150 jobs advertised for locations in the US in the last month. Some of the jobs posted ask for as little as two years of experience.
Infosys, which has entered the silent period ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings results next month, declined to comment for this story. The company’s inability to apply for visas for junior employees is also creating another problem.
“One of the easiest ways to retain people when they expressed dissatisfaction was to say that we will begin their visa process. This can no longer be used. Managers are now trying to find different ways to keep people on board,” one of the executives quoted above said. He added that this was a problem that would be faced by the entire industry and not just Infosys.
Tata Consultancy Services said that it had operated in a self-imposed visa-constrained environment this year and had applied to get only about 15% of the visas for which it normally applies. The combination of far higher minimum wages and a tighter visa regime means that in the future, junior employees are unlikely to make the coveted trip onshore.
27 Comments on this Story
Joeag ERP1441 days ago
Now Indian Professional also adopting the Life long study pattern - as in western world
Born Indian1442 days ago
Very good decision. Infosys is the top country that applies for H1B visas, followed by TCS. This move will reduce the total number of applications and others will also get a chance.
Joeag ERP1443 days ago
H1 B can be for highly educated and experienced . M Techs, Phd's - 15 years experienced. It serves the purpose