Nasscom hopes to overcome US, Australia visa curbs

Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar says US, Australia visa curbs are operational concerns for Indian IT companies and the industry will soon overcome them


R. Chandrashekhar, president of IT industry body Nasscom. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
R. Chandrashekhar, president of IT industry body Nasscom. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Hyderabad: Immigration-related issues facing the software services sector—such as H-1B visa curbs in the US and Australia scrapping the 457 visa—are just operational concerns for Indian IT companies, and the industry is taking steps to overcome them, Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar said Thursday.

“All of these (US and Australia visa curbs) are big changes that are happening beyond just policy changes of individual governments, and the industry has been taking several steps to cope with them. The domestic IT industry has transformed many times in the past. These are operational challenges,” said Chandrashekhar on the sidelines of an event in Hyderabad on Thursday.

“The immigration related issues are some of the operational challenges which they face today. It is just one more dimension of the economic and technological challenges. We believe that the industry is capable of once again transforming to the extent needed based on these shifts,” he added.

According to Chandrashekhar, every country wants highly skilled workers from anywhere in the world, but there is a need to define “highly skilled workers” and ensure immigration policies of a country open the doors to them.

Australia has abolished the 457 visa programme used by more than 95,000 temporary foreign workers, majority of them Indians, to tackle the growing unemployment in that country. The 457 visa allowed businesses to employ foreign workers up to four years in skilled jobs where there is a shortage of Australian workers. It will now be replaced by another visa programme with new restrictions.

“We will have to wait and see what is the overall impact (of visa curbs), but some of the fundamentals which make us optimistic about our industry’s future in this space remain unchanged. As far as the domestic IT industry is concerned growth is strong,” said Chandrashekhar.

Nasscom had on Wednesday said it would work closely with the Australian government to understand more details on the visa changes and ensure these changes can be implemented seamlessly to ensure business continuity for Australian customers.

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