US has no place for Indian computer programmers, coders

US has no place for Indian computer programmers, codersThe Donald Trump-led US government has released a memo that states computer programmers won’t be eligible for the H1B visa programme. However, this has not irked the Indian IT sector much.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy memorandum on H-1B computer related positions, which reads that a previous guiding policy document for H-1B visa petitions, from the year 2000, will no longer hold.

The year 2000 memo stated all programmers as sharing a fundamental job duty, i.e., writing and testing computer code,, and that it was improper to conclude based on this information that USCIS would "generally consider the position of programmer to qualify as a specialty occupation”.

Now, this is invalid.

"Nasscom is assessing the memo but it seems that it is primarily going to impact entry level H-1B seekers. Our companies typically do not hire entry level engineers for H-1B visas, and this should not have a substantial impact on business," Shivendra Singh, Head - Global Trade Development at IT industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), told ET.


The memo says that the fact that a person may be employed as a computer programmer and may use information technology skills and knowledge to help an enterprise achieve its goals in the course of his or her job is not sufficient to establish the position as a specialty occupation.

"The situation has been the same for a long time with these positions except that now it is in the form of a memo. Immigration attorneys have been receiving requests for evidence on this issue lately because a 'speciality occupation' requires a US bachelors degree or equivalent to qualify, this memo is targeted to deny applications of guest workers with a low degrees,” Rajiv Dabhadkar, founder of the National Organisation for Software and Technology Professionals, told ET.