When U.S President Obama addressed the nation about the latest immigration reform bill last Thursday, technology companies in India and in the Silicon Valley reacted with a lukewarm response. That is because the immigration reform does not solve the problem that most Indian technology outsourcing companies are facing.
Tight limits on temporary work visas for high-skilled workers and a burdensome system for gaining green cards (permanent residential status) have caused many talented Indian programmers and engineers to give up and go back to India.
Though the President’s orders will improve the overall economy, his alterations to the immigration issues pertaining to high-skilled workers are not going to help the techie workforce of India, feel market experts. Most of the changes to the reform apply to the process involved in issuing green cards to immigrants.
With the new tweaks, immigrants can change jobs while awaiting approval from their current employer. Spouses of green card applicants can now also work in the U.S. Travel restrictions for applicants’ families have also been eased. Immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs have been expanded.
Several Indian outsourcing companies feel that the new immigration system does not take the needs of the technology industry into account or the value that Indian immigrant families have contributed towards the community. On the whole, Obama’s actions will not do much for the tech economy, though they may help individuals. Continue reading