H-1B Visa Effect : Infosys to hire 10,000 American workers over two years

H-1B Visa

India second largest IT company Infosys, will hire 10,000 American workers in the next two years and will build 4 new technology and innovation hubs in the U.S as part of its efforts to tide over visa-related issues. It will start by this year in the month of August in Indiana, the home state of the U.S Vice President Mike Pence and is expected to create 2,000 jobs for American workers by 2021.

The company in a statement said, “these four hubs would not only focus on technology and innovation areas, but also serve clients in key industries such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, energy.”

Speaking to PTI, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka said, “these steps were not being taken just to mitigate the impact of stricter visa norms in the US.

Over the last three years, there has been an increase in the use of new technologies like AI and virtual reality and even the traditional projects are becoming highly automated.

“As work becomes more next-gen, you need a more healthier mix of global and local talent and so, you need to re-think the traditional, what has historically been called ‘global delivery model’ and bring in a lot more talent locally,” he added.

The IT service firms rely heavily on the H-1B visa programme, which US President Donald Trump has ordered federal agencies to review, and are now hiring more locals and setting up delivery centres in the US in anticipation of a tighter visa regime.

“Infosys is committed to hiring 10,000 American technology workers over the next two years to help invent and deliver the digital futures for our clients in the United States,” said Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka.

Over the past few months, other countries like New Zealand, Australia and Singapore have tightened their visa systems.

Last month, a Trump administration official accused top Indian outsourcers of unfairly cornering the lion’s share of H-1B visas by flooding the system with applications which naturally ups their chances of success in the lottery draw.

President Trump had in an executive order last month asked American agencies to review the H-1B visa system to make it more merit-based.

Indian IT industry body Nasscom has defended its members TCS and Infosys, saying the two accounted for only 7,504 – or 8.8 per cent – of the approved H-1B visas in 2014-15. Indian technology firms use H-1B visas to send their employees to work at customer sites in the US, which is the largest export market for the $150 billion Indian IT industry.

For the 10,000 jobs in the US, Infosys said, “we will hire experienced technology professionals and recent graduates from major universities, and local and community colleges.”

The company plans to institute training programs in the US in areas such as user experience, cloud, artificial intelligence, big data and digital offerings, as well as core technology and computer science skills.

“The four tech hubs in the US will not only have technology and innovation focus areas, but will also closely serve clients in key industries such as financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, energy and more”, the Bengaluru-headquartered company said.

Mr Sikka told news agency Reuters that, “Infosys has already hired 2,000 American workers as part of a previous effort started in 2014.

When you think about it from a US point of view, obviously creating more American jobs and opportunities is a good thing.”


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