And welcome we are talking h-1b visa the US Department of Homeland Security has said that it will start accepting applications pending the visas which are. Likely to now fire now this is an important development considering there are a lot of people were concerned particularly in technology companies who have. Almost 75,000 IT workers sitting in the United States Indian idea of sitting in the United States so the question now is what does this this delay or this acceptance of delay mean number. One number two what is happening to or what happens to company a IT workers who are laid off and that’s the concern because the law says that if you’re if you’re. Made of then you cannot stay poor beyond 60 days now delay does help but how does it help in the future so let’s find out from our to get that five founder.
And managing director of Siana Capital Management also has been someone who’s tracked and what the Indian IT outsourcing and offshoring industry very carefully. In the past who will be chosen a managing partner at law quest a immigrant and an immigration. Attorney thank you both for joining us so we’ll be let me start first question is really tell us about the h-1b of.
This you know refreshin or refresh the minds of our viewers right. So the h-1b is a temporary work visa program that is run in the United States since the 1990s and they are generally. Capped at 65,000 for general applicants with a bachelor’s degree and an extra 20,000 for individuals who have a u.s. advanced degrees that’s it see. The some of it and to qualify for this they have to have a bachelor’s degree which is.
Relevant to the job it has to be equivalent to a u.s. bachelor’s degree and the job it has. To be both now current situation is such that many h-1b workers are being laid off and they’re being laid up either by the. Primary and you know who’s the petitioner because for every h1 before you need a US company that is the sponsors we.
Call it the petitioner so the petitioner is idly laying them for petitioner. Has got contracts with what we call end clients that’s consumer ocid services that company canceling project and hence these employees don’t. Have any work to keep it in such a situation companies are faced with the dilemma of what. To do quizzes and employees the h-1b worker is allowed to stay there for up to three years I can’t get extensions of three years it’s a total of. Six years and in certain circumstances it can go beyond that however as soon as an. Employee is terminated he or she is out and should actually have earlier that was a ten day grace period but a few years ago.
They introduced the 60-day grace period during which nfa can find a new job all right and. The current extension that’s been offered by the the Department of Homeland Security allows so the extension has always been there you can. Apply for extensions what we have announced is that if there is a delay in applying the extension.
They will condone the delay if the deal is commensurate to the circumstances so to put. It in layman’s terms if a petition is expiring on April 30th and you should be filing the petition before if the 30th for a timely filing but instead of that. Your petition reaches them on let’s say it will fifth or a seven they are going to cut down that delay because of the poor with 19 situation yes my words no so. That’s why what they’ve done is did they have indicated they will condone the daily but that is also the discretion of the officers it’s not a blanket condemnation of delays. Right and that does not mean that you’re in any way getting a reprieve for the job that. You’ve lost absolutely not it’s only it’s so there are two things happening over here one is that it’s a timely extension filed.
By the company if that doesn’t happen and the person is out of the. Job then that person remains in the United States beyond the 60-day period period needs to apply. For a change of status to as tourist means of business that little bit for example that application also has to be filed within the base failure even there if there is a delay they. Will confirm that delay based on circumstances so they have not given with any extra debris. Except that they might be lenient for delays that’s all right okay now sit what’s your sense on what’s happening today or right now visa be Indian IT companies and they and their staff. Sitting in the United States sure so I’m glad you asked for Indian because there is a difference between how the Indian IT companies have been treated in the last few years versus how.
Companies that are of American origin but actively being treated so. For instance if I were an American company applying for an h1 visa for one of my Indian staff and. The likelihood that that h1 visa would get approved in the first place is significantly higher than if I were an Indian based company that was also higher you. Know had operations in the US and we need to send some of the aforementioned e visa so the. Last few years what’s actually happened is that the amount of dependents that the Indian I teenagers have had on the h1 visa has decreased because they’ve they’ve learned that they.
Have to get by with either local hires or use you know specific people whom they sure will get through the process this many of them are. Just rejected out of hand when they when they apply even though there is a difference between the two so I guess the majority. Of what we are talking about right now in the u.s. at this point many many of them. Actually work for American companies in the US and about our Indian citizens and have gone there on on h1 visas. So the extension that we are talking about applies more to them just but I don’t think.
That extension or no extension I think this economic problem has come to. Obviously everybody as a result of Kovac and there will be a significant number of layoffs where they are an American company or an Indian company and you’re just going. To have to deal with the circumstances right so in a situation like this of course this is not a situation that we’ve seen anything like.
Before but the that is an h-1b worker at a greater disadvantage compared to let’s say someone. Else considering that then h-1b worker was hired in the first place because he or she had skills which maybe a. Local resident did not see it’s difficult to so this. Is where we’re getting the answer the answer the simple answer.
To that question is yes because the burden of proof that you know somebody actually is coming in on an h1. And has a capability that is significantly better than somebody in the u.s. actually something that shows.
Up later on in the process it shows up when they go through what’s called the labor certification in. Preparation for that green card that’s when the company has to prove that there is no individual either a US citizen or a u.s. permanent resident. Resident alien who can take that job in place of that person who the th1 who’s looking for a green card so that stringent test actually. Appears later on it doesn’t that we’re asked it’s not as stringent. In the beginning when they first go there on on an h1 visa and the US by the way has been using this program very many years it.
Used to be the director actually had to study in the u.s. got an f-1 or j-1 visa I’m dating myself anyway and then apply hopefully for an h1 which. Is bought later ah I’m talking about the eighties they relaxed the rules in the 90s like like mine was. Designed to allow for people with indian degrees or other other capabilities to apply directly and to be able to go without an american. Degree now if you remember about ten years ago there was a shortage of nurses in the US and a whole host of indian nurses got h-1b visas. And the ability to move there because that country was looking to fulfill its military fitness ready many of them. Applied for the Dean garden have since stayed there but that’s an example the country as used that h-1b program very very judiciously.
In terms of looking for the kinds of resources that they want immigrating into that country so all of pollen to answer. Your question having an h1 doesn’t mean that you won’t have a better chance than citizen disadvantage in the. Current circumstances because let’s say a company wants to downsize and they want to or they want to put some of their employees on furlough that is leave without pay they. Cannot do that for h-1b workers they can do it for the US workers that is green card holders or citizens because the moment they put them.
In unproductive status and don’t pay them a salary then they’re violating their obligations of an h-1b employer the. H-1b employer makes many at the stations at the time of filing the h-1b petition on what is known as the labor condition application that is filed with. The Department of Labor and in that they have to address that this person is going to work X number of hours.
And for which we get by salary any violation of that and have stringent effect on the companies they can be penalized they can be monetary penalties they can be barred from. Immigration programs like the h-1b and the green card so the implications on the companies to. Get these individuals on a non-productive status for h-1b workers is humongously we see.
For the Meo for the employee yet the worst is they’ll be out of a job but. The company could face more difficult but you’re also saying if I understood you right that they will not put them into leave without pay because putting them into leave without paying effect. Is asking them to leave so they would rather ask them to leave rather than put them into leave without pay or conversely an Indian. H-1b worker actually does not have that option where is a local resident might actually yes. The local the local employees can you know sort of engage in and negotiation.
And we’ll go for two months without it but keep our jobs safe for us when. We come back they can’t do that with the h-1b workers so the options.
The companies have is one of the options to reduce. Their work hours and file new h-1b applications for that amendment applications which is a onerous process and then also you personality doesn’t prop between your NCA obligations and.
The second of option I have is to terminate these employees and happen remain in the u.s. for 60 days or till dislikes are available to come back to India but those those two steps. Are really what is available to them there are companies thinking of innovative ideas but nobody has taken them decision because. Then follow-ups if read but if the Department of Labor comes and has an audit what are we going to see right see that so the million-dollar question is really based. So what’s the health I know these are a very tough question but what’s the health of the kind of the companies who are typically. Hiring Indian IT workers on shore and where is how does it look.
Like right now so following on from the last question that you asked in so far is that there are true technical companies. That are the forefront of technology meaning dictate what we call big tech today so. The Amazons the Google’s the dinosaurs and the Facebook’s of this world I.
Think they are at less of a disadvantage than IT services companies like an IBM or an Accenture or an infestation I. Think what happens in an outsourced environment is it’s easier to let off people who are not really.
Part of your payroll it’s an easier thing to do. In terms of cutting off staff so there’s a waterfall effect that will happen as a result so if there’s a reduction in an outsourced contract and somebody was working for an IBM or somebody. Is working for an extension or an Infosys or Wipro will likely be let go sooner. So as a result we’ll need to all one effect will be relax there’s no others one. Thing bring them back to India I think the ones who are work.
For Google or Facebook or others are at least actually at less of a risk just simply because for now. At least it appears as if the economic impact on those companies.
Is slightly less do we have any sense on what’s the split and in how many visas and to whom for instance. Sid was talking about nurses at one point of time along with other categories I mean do you have any sense no I the top 10 these are applicants for h-1b workers in the. Past in the past several years had been IT companies 7 of a top IT companies so they’re. The biggest consumer this time in the online selection which is a new process.
On the h-1b program 67.7% of the registrants were Indian net so that’s the type of bite that we have and most. Of them are engaged by the Indian into companies what service providers difference between the service provider and the ones who. Have in-house projects Google they use them in-house for their own project is that. A not dependent end client for the book because became an accent on outsourcing if the end client hasn’t action in work they well. Google and Facebook can sort of assign them to did their office retail their talent right we’re running out of time last questions to you both said you know. I know this all of this is finally dependent on the health of.
The economy and the IT industry in specific in the United States but if you will trace the path of ensuring versus offshoring and. Of course you already pointed out there is a certain caste system that’s developed because the people who are in the googles and Facebooks on Amazon’s of the world are. Likely to be more shielded and the others not but if you were to look at it over time.
How do you think or where do you think we are in terms of let’s say from an Indian IT industry point of view. And it’s it’s relative let’s say strength in a position at a time like this so I mean a couple of points that I’d like to make. There one is of course the immediate impact we meet it impact across the board I think would be fairly significant for both Indian IT companies as well as non Indian IT outsourcing companies. Here and they’re going to have to face the ramifications of that the longer-term thing however that I’ve been. Screaming about from them from the roof from the rooftops for many years is the fact that many Indian IT.
Service providers have not really recast themselves as global players and significant employers in the US or the UK or the other countries that they operated many years ago the I mean for. Instance we see by armored car in India in India it’s made in India right our Toyota it’s made in India so it’s creating local. Employment I don’t think that the Indian majors have actually gone to the point that they’ve created enough employment in countries like.
The u.s. in the UK if you look at Accenture for instance they’re supposed to have about over a hundred thousand people in India but they also have 80 90. Thousand hundred thousand people in the u.s. they considered a balanced employer globally I think this is a big wake-up call for our Indian industry hopefully they’ll.
Become more global rather than Indian operating in international right right and will be any last. Any piece of advice for those who are stuck likely to be stuck so the employees should be very alert you should have first tried.
To find a new job but if that doesn’t happen they should be very very alert about filing a change of status application before the end of. 60 days even if there are no flies they should do that right right thank you both this is of course the challenging time and hopefully you know. The Indian IT industry will find its feet once again as it seems to have always fun thank you both for joining me you.