No impact of Australian visa move on Indian techies: Nasscom

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The Indian IT industry, however, he said, was capable of transforming itself to the extent needed on these shifts. "He on this issue further stated that it is not an immigration issue, rather a trade and service issue, adding", there is a mutuality of interests involved".

Industry experts too were of the view that Tuesday's executive orders were "not as bad as expected". "But you are not going to protect (them) if you bring in restrictions and say they are applicable to only one set of companies, which account for only 20% of the visas", said Nasscom president R. Chandrasekhar.

Indian IT companies have been accused of misusing the H-1B visa regime, which they have consistently denied.

A workable option for companies to not only retain the Indian workers but also address the shortage of workers in United States is through global in-house centers (GICs).

"We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains: Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs, so we are abolishing the 457 visa, the visa that brings temporary foreign workers into our country", said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

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Nasscom also warned of the unintended consequences of using salary levels or skills as the metric to judge the merit of an H-1B application as it "could advantage certain regions such as Silicon Valley over other regions of the US" while also placing "federal bureaucrats in the role of technology consultants and human resource specialists".

"All of these are big changes that are happening beyond just policy changes of individual governments and the industry has been taking several steps to cope with them".

Referring to Australia replacing its popular 457 work visa programme with another programme, he said senior Australian officials have conveyed to India that "the impact of the changes will be negligible on Indian workers, most of whom fall in high skill category". "The majority of this reduction is thought to be the reduced number of applications that the service providers are submitting", Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of the Everest Group, told ET.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said, H1-B visas cap has remained at 65,000 since December 2004 when the H1-B Visa Reform Act was enacted by the US Congress.

He said visa issue will be part of the India's talks with the countries where changes in visa programme have been made which are impacting Indian professionals.

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