New Delhi: Amid American President Donald Trump’s target on visa program cherished by tech companies for bringing in programmers and other specialized workers from other countries, Infosys which is the world’s second biggest recruiter has declared that hire 10,000 Americans in next two years and open four technology centres in US.
As per Infosys, this will be a part of plan to ramp up local hiring.
Infosys will hire 10,000 American workers, build 4 new technology and innovation hubs in the U.S. over next 2 years https://t.co/NGWdpjxuwU
— Infosys (@Infosys) May 2, 2017
Although these visas, known as H-1B, aren’t supposed to displace American workers, critics say the program mostly benefits consulting firms that let tech Companies save money by contracting out their jobs to foreign workers.
Trump signed an order Tuesday to direct the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State to propose new rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse. Those departments would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the “most-skilled or highest-paid applicants.”
Here’s a look at how the H-1B visa program works.
Is this a tech visa program?
The H-1B program is open to a broad range of occupations, including architects, professors and even fashion models. It’s meant for jobs requiring specialty skills that cannot be filled by a U.S. worker. Many of these jobs happen to be in tech. According to the Labor Department, the top three H-1B occupations are computer systems analysts, application software developers and computer programmers — and those three account for roughly half of the department’s H-1B certifications.
The tech industry says that companies have trouble filling positions with American workers and must turn to other countries through this program. Supporters have sought to expand the number of visas allowed each year, something unlikely to happen.
What about American jobs?
By law, companies are required to pay at least the prevailing wage for that occupation. In practice, critics say companies can pay less by classifying jobs at the lowest skill levels, even if the specific workers hired have more experience. Many of the overseas workers are willing to work for as little as $60,000 annually, far less than $100,000-plus salaries typically paid to U.S. technology workers.
As a result, many U.S. companies find it cheaper simply to contract out help desks, programming and other basic tasks to consulting companies such as Wipro, Infosys, HCL Technologies and Tata in India and IBM and Cognizant in the U.S. These consulting companies hire foreign workers, often from India, and contract them out to U.S. employers looking to save money. Tech workers losing their jobs sometimes have sometimes been required to train their foreign replacements to qualify for severance packages.
In some cases, companies must make a good faith effort to hire a U.S. worker before turning to an H-1B worker, but there are many exceptions to this requirement.
(With inputs from AP)