21 May 2012

Indian trade association defends IT industry in US visa investigation

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Indian trade association Nasscom has defended the IT industry over a US visa investigation by claiming application procedures are not clearly defined.

US visa

Indian IT services body Nasscom has defended the IT industry over its argument with the US.

After finding a 'significant percentage' of errors in US visa applications from Indian IT firm Infosys, the US Attorney's Office announced an investigation into the procedures.

The investigation, announced last month, sparked an argument between Indian outsourcing firms and the US government which has escalated to the point of India lodging a formal complaint with the World Trade Association and forcing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to reassure India that the country is still open to Indian migrants.

Now, Nasscom, the Indian IT industry's service body, has defended the industry, claiming US immigration procedures are unclear.

"Nasscom is concerned over the recent investigation in the US involving some Indian companies. However, we need to understand that the parameters governing H1-B and L1 visas are not clearly defined," said Nasscom Vice-President Ameet Nivsarkar at an IT event in Sydney, Australia.

"The Indian IT industry has added significantly to the US competitiveness and [Indian employees] have been good citizens, contributing to social security, local taxes, creating local employment and contributing to the community."

While Infosys has strongly refuted the allegations, Mr Nivsarkar claimed Nasscom was committed to building a global market within the IT industry regardless of visa restrictions.

"Nasscom is working with the governments, administrations and policy makers to find ways that can help mitigate the impact upon the IT industry of visa restrictions, often based on flawed logic."

Mr Nivsarkar said the upcoming US presidential election was influencing the debate, and that the US should not overlook the role that Indian businesses play in building global relations.

"The election related rhetoric has historically targeted the industry; this is not a new phenomenon."


The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.

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