Nearshore Americas

Nasscom Spends A Fortune to Lobby Against H1B Visa Scrapping

India’s IT industry body, Nasscom, is reportedly spending a fortune on lobbyists in its bid to dissuade the US administration from scrapping the H1B visa program.

Nasscom paid $150,000 to two US lobbyists in the first quarter of this year, a $40,000 increase on the previous quarter, according to documents filed with the US Senate.

The money went to lobbying firms Lande-Group and Wexler & Walker, a branch of Hill and Knowlton Strategies, LLC, with each receiving $50,000 and $100,000 respectively. Nasscom spent $400,000 on lobbying in 2016, almost twice the sum spent the previous year.

Wexler & Walker provides services on immigration issues, including H1B and L1 visas, according to Work Permit, which reported the payment, citing company documents.

The temporary work visa program, also known as the H1B visa, has become a political hot potato in the United States over the past couple of years, with Indian IT firms, including TCS and Infosys, being accused of grabbing most of the visas issued every year.

A lack of visas makes it harder for Indian IT outsourcing firms to service their customers, most of whom are based in the United States.

When the administration led by Barack Obama doubled visa fees, India took the issue to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The case has not yet been resolved.

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Now, the Trump administration has further restricted the visa program, annoying the Indian service providers. Nasscom even sent a delegation to the United States to discuss how the government can ease the exchange of workers.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

1 comment

  • How about creating good jobs and better working conditions in Mother India instead of sending skilled Indians begging for jobs in Western Countries?