Visa Curbs to hit US Economy, Create Unemployment, Say Experts at IACC Event
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Visa Curbs to hit US Economy, Create Unemployment, Say Experts at IACC Event

Visa Curbs to hit US Economy, Create Unemployment, Say Experts at IACC Event

Indo-American Chamber of Commerce Gujarat branch hosts webinar on ‘Impact of Recent Policy Changes in US Immigration Laws on Businesses and Education’

Ahmedabad, 19th July 2020: Immigration experts and the technology industry have said that increased protectionism and restrictions on H1B visas and other categories of visas imposed by the US government will hurt the US economy and create unemployment.

Taiyyeba Safri Skomra, Partner, Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP, US, spoke about various recent proclamations by the US government that affect Indians.

“A broad swathe of immigrant visas has been suspended with the rationale to protect the US economy by preventing outsiders taking over jobs of US workers. It is a big problem with their reasoning that they are protecting the economy when we know that a lot of people in the classes that they are prohibiting could be coming in and generating jobs for themselves and US workers,” she said.

He was addressing a webinar on “Impact of Recent Policy Changes in US Immigration Laws on Businesses and Education” organized by the Gujarat branch of Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC).

Taiyyeba also described as ridiculous the proclamation that foreign students in the US will be asked to leave if the colleges have shifted to online teaching. "It led to panic. Students contribute millions of dollars to schools, and it led to a scramble. Thankfully, the government withdrew the rule, and the students are safe for now,” she said.

Shivendra Singh, Vice President and Head, Global Trade Development, NASSCOM, said that there is a wrong perception that the H1B visas, used by a large number of IT professionals from India, are used to bring in cheap labor and to replace American workers.

“H1B visas are not cheap and the visa holders fulfill a critical skills gap in the US. They make the US economy more competitive, generate revenues, and create a livelihood. The Indian tech industry hires half a million people in the US and contributes $57 billion to the US economy, which is more than the GDP of many states. Our view is that the visa curbs will have a negative impact on the US economy, as well as create unemployment,” Singh said.

Singh said that data from May shows that more than 6,25,000 jobs in the tech industry in the US are vacant.

“The skillset available is not being able to meet the job requirement, and it is a testimony of the skillset of Indian IT workers. Looking at the critical role the tech industry is performing in the Covid-19 recovery period, their role should be considered as an essential service and granted exemption from the visa curbs,” he added.

Prashant Ajmera, Founder, Ajmera Law Group Global Investment Advisors, who moderated the session said that US immigration is very complex legislation and any changes affect a lot of people.

“It is not just the B1 or B2 visa that affects us, but also the F1 or student visa, H1B visa for IT professionals. Family sponsorships account for a major chunk of US visas. The EB5 visa has become quite popular in recent times. These categories affect us the most,” he said.

Earlier, Dinesh Daga, Chairman, IACC Gujarat Branch, gave a brief outline about the activities of IACC


while Pankaj Bohra, Sr. Vice President WIC of IACC acknowledged the contribution of knowledge providers.

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