Donald Trump should see the H-1B visa issue differently, says India's IT lobby

Donald Trump should see the H-1B visa issue differently, says India's IT lobby
  • NASSCOM expects Trump to issue more and more H-1B visas to Indian nationals and Indian companies in the US.
  • USCIS data showed petitions increased from 6% in FY2015 to 24% in the first three-quarters of FY2019 for H-1B visa denial.
US President Donald Trump and PM Narendra Modi will be meeting again this week in Gujarat, after their Houston event. Ahead of Trump's visit, IT industry body Nasscom has their requests laid out for the US administration.

At the NASSCOM Technology and Leadership Forum (NTLF), its president Debjani Ghosh said, “I think the biggest task of recommendation to the US and the President (Trump) would be, in this digital world we have to treat high skill talent mobility separately from immigration. We cannot treat high skill talent mobility as an immigration problem.”

She added that “most H-1b visas are going to US companies and not to Indian companies. But India is contributing a lot to innovation in the US and the country has to recognize that. The narrative has to change”.


Ghosh believes that the US has a huge shortfall in talent in stem and technology, and is dependent on India for “talent”.

According to the data from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Trump’s policy to ‘Buy American, Hire American’ is mitigating visa petitions only from Indian IT firms like Capgemini, Cognizant and Infosys. US based firms like Facebook and Amazon, on the other hand, are having no troubles bringing home talent from India.

The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis of USCIS, denial rates for H-1B petitions increased to 24% in FY2019 from 6% in FY2015 for new H-1B petitions.

According to NASSCOM, the Indian IT firms contribute $58 billion to the US GDP, which is higher than what six individual US states contribute. Most of the Indian work with more than 75% of the Fortune 500 companies — the majority of which are American enterprises.