US immigration curbs may impact biz growth: Wipro

US immigration curbs may impact biz growth: Wipro
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First Published: Sun, May 24 2009. 02 53 PM IST
Updated: Sun, May 24 2009. 02 53 PM IST
New York: With the Obama administration turning the wave against outsourcing activities, Indian IT major Wipro fears that restrictions on foreign workers in the US could hamper its growth.
IT bellwether Infosys Technologies, too, had raised concerns that curbs on movement of working visa holders could affect its business activities.
“Restrictions on immigration in the US may affect our ability to compete for and provide services to clients in the US, which could hamper our growth and cause our revenue to decline,” Wipro said in its annual filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a move that could have wider future repercussions on the Indian IT sector, the American government has restricted the hiring of H-1B visa holders by entities which have received taxpayers’ money.
Moreover, the Obama regime has floated a plan to end tax incentives for US companies creating jobs overseas.
According to Wipro, a major chunk of its workers in the US hold H-1B or L-1 visas. An H-1B visa is a temporary work permit for highly skilled people to work in the country whereas the L-1 is an intra-company transfer visa, which only allows the employee to remain in the US temporarily.
Every year, a large number of Indians apply for H-1B visas. However, this year, the demand has dropped for working visa mainly due to uncertainty over outsourcing moves.
Wipro noted the immigration laws in foreign countries, including the US, are subject to legislative changes and enforcement due to political forces and economic conditions.
“It is difficult to predict the political and economic events that could affect immigration laws, or the restrictive impact they could have on obtaining or monitoring work visas for our technology professionals,” the IT major said.
Nearly 60% of Indian IT-Business Process Outsourcing industry caters to the US companies. India’s BPO industry employs over 17 lakh professionals.
“Although we currently have sufficient personnel with valid H-1B visas, we cannot assure you that we will continue to be able to obtain any or a sufficient number of H-1B visas on the same time schedule as we have previously obtained, or at all,” Wipro asserted.
Recently, Infosys said in the prevailing economic environment, there could be a change in the existing laws or the enactment of new legislation, restricting “offshore outsourcing” or imposing restrictions on the deployment of work visa holders at client locations.
Such actions “may adversely impact our ability to do business in the jurisdictions in which we operate, especially with governmental entities,” the IT bellwether noted.
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First Published: Sun, May 24 2009. 02 53 PM IST
More Topics: H1-B visa | Obama | Outsourcing | Immigration | Wipro |