US Visa Fee Hike will affect Indian Companies

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The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to steeply hike US visa fees for US-bound professionals by $2,000 per application for next five years. The bill will seriously affect Indian companies in US and would cost an extra$ 200 million a year.

The hike in fees will be applicable only to companies with more than 50 per cent foreign employees. The bill proposes a fee hike for highly skilled professionals from $320 to $2,320and for L visas given to multi-national transferees from $320 to $2,570. 

This will adversely affect Indian IT companies especially Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and Mahindra Satyam which have large number of employees in US to handle IT operations for American customers. But professionals on H-1B visas for IT giants such as Microsoft and Google will not be affected as per the clause that limits the fee hike to companies with more than 50 per cent foreign workers.

The fund raised by the law will be utilized for increasing the security of US-Mexican border. The $600 million package is allocated to prevent illegal immigration through the US’s porous border with Mexico. New Delhi raised its concern over the law as it will primarily impact Indian firms even though they account for fewer than 12 percent of the total visas issued. US lawmakers defended it saying that the law would hopefully create some vacancies for Americans in some higher skilled jobs to fill which foreign companies are using these visas.

The Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed yesterday by a voice vote in the House of Representatives.

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