The visa fee hike by the US Congress on certain categories of H-1B and L-1 visa may not have a major impact on the Indian IT companies especially the large ones who have scores of workers deployed in the US on such visas, say experts.
The US Congress has imposed a special fee of up to $4,500 on the H-1B visas and L-1 visas to fund the 9/11 healthcare act and the biometric tracking system. The US House of Representative will vote on this spending bill on Thursday.
When THE WEEK contacted India's leading IT services company Tata Consultancy Services, which has thousands of its staff working in the US on H-1B visas, refused to comment.
Similarly another IT major Wipro's Technologies communications head said that the company is yet to comment anything on the issue.
Many experts told THE WEEK that it will have a very minimal impact on the overall revenues of the Indian IT companies. Usually most of the Indian companies incur around $ 60-80 million annually on visas and an additional sum of $ 60-80 million a year will not impact an IT company which generates revenues to the tune of billions of dollars.
'The overall industry impact will be minimal as many of the IT companies generate revenues which runs into billions of dollars. I do not think it will have any significant impact on their revenues as such,” explained Dipen Shah, Senior Vice President, and head of Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
Alok Shende of Ascentius Consulting said that even if the visa fee is hiked by $2000 per person it would only increase an additional monthly spending of $ 55 to $60 per person. He added that many of them take home an annual salary to the tune of $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 and they are unlikely to feel the extra financial burden.
“For companies like TCS and Infosys which have revenues running into billions of dollars it will be a very minuscule thing. I feel it is just a hype being created and no major impact will be there. There will also not be any impact on the outsourcing trend by this visa hike and companies will keep on sending workers to the US and keep applying for H-1B visas despite the fee hike,” said Shende.
"For a company like TCS which employs more than 3 lakh workers and has only 10,000 to 15,000 workers in the US an increase in visa fees will not have any major impact at all,” said Kris Lakshmikanth the founder of Head Hunters India.
Out of 65,000 H-1B visas which were issued last year, TCS bagged the maximum around 5,000 to 6,000 visas.
It has been reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the visa fee hike issue with US President Barack Obama recently. However, the Republican-majority Congress decided to ignore the concerns of the White House and doubled the H1B and L1 fees for the Indian IT companies.