‘US may Lose Com­pet­i­tive Edge due to H-1B Clam­p­down’

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Washington: Clam­p­down on H-1B visa pro­gramme will make it dif­fi­cult for the US IT sec­tor to at­tract open tal­ent from coun­tries like In­dia, and Amer­ica might lose its com­pet­i­tive edge, a top Amer­i­can think tank has said. As the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is car­ry­ing out a re­view of the non­im­mi­grant visas, the Cen­ter for Global De­vel­op­ment (CGD) in a re­port said that H-1B visa, the most sought af­ter by In­dian IT pro­fes­sion­als, is ben­e­fi­cial for both In­dia and the US.

“It is re­ally im­por­tant to make sure that the IT sec­tors from both coun­tries are al­lowed to at­tract the right kind of peo­ple, be­cause they re­ally al­low for in­no­va­tion and growth in both the coun­tries,” Gau­rav Khanna, fel­low at the CGD and co-au­thor of the re­search pa­per, said.

The re­port ti­tled ‘The IT Boom and Other Un­in­tended Con­se­quences o f Ch a s i n g the Amer­i­can Dream’ takes an in-depth lo ok at how t he H-1 B v i s a p r o - gramme af­fects both the US and In­dian economies. “Both the economies have re­ally ben­e­fited from the H-1B pro­gramme,” he told PTI.

“What our pa­per is re­ally try­ing to stress, is that on av­er­age the US is bet­ter off be­cause of the H-1B pro­gramme. So clamp­ing down on the H-1B pro­gramme will ba­si­cally not al­low the US IT sec­tor to at­tract the open tal­ent from places like In­dia. The US might then lose its com­pet­i­tive edge in IT pro­duc­tion,” he warned, adding that IT com­pa­nies might move to coun­tries like Canada in the event of large-scale clam­p­down on H-1B visas. Khanna said the re­search has shown that In­dia has been a ben­e­fi­ciary of brain gain, rather than brain drain due to the visa pro­gramme.

“If you think about what hap­pens in In­dia, you know the prospect of mi­grat­ing to the US and earn­ing such a high wage ...it seemed they re­ally en­cour­aged cer­tain stu­dents and work­ers to ac­quire skills that would be val­ued by the H-1B pro­gramme,” he said.

IT com­pa­nies might move to coun­tries like Canada in the event of large-scale clam­p­down on H-1B visas

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