Curbing work rights for H-1B spouses not good: Nasscom


IT industry body Nasscom on Wednesday said that any move to restrict work rights for spouses of H-1B visa-holders may dampen the enthusiasm of tech professionals to go on such visas, but will not directly impact the industry.

“In my assessment, it won’t affect the industry substantially because tech workers themselves go on H-1B visa. But indirectly, it reduces the keenness or willingness of some individuals to go, as their spouses won’t be able to work in the US,” Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said.

The statement comes against backdrop of the US administration under President Donald Trump seeking 60 days from an American appeals court to “consider” its response in a case challenging the previous government’s decision to allow spouses of H-1B visa-holders to work in the US.

Such a move could put jobs of thousands of Indians at stake.
Chandrashekhar said the impact will be more indirect in nature as it is a “change in lifestyle” given that working women may not want to be suddenly out of work.

“From an industry point of view, it may dampen the enthusiasm of people to go on H-1B visas, but it will not have a direct impact,” he said.

However, he pointed out that Nasscom had not made a specific assessment of the situation with member companies yet.

Only last week, the USCIS temporarily suspended premium processing of H-1B visas — often used by Indian IT firms — that could lead to process delays.

In the past few weeks, there have been proposals to overhaul the popular H-1B visa regime through various legislations which have added to the worries of the Indian IT sector that is battling slower growth, currency fluctuation and cautious client spending.

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