Saturday, Dec 03, 2022
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Visa Power Go Get It!

Visa Power Go Get It!

A new US legislation makes it easier for Indian software pros to chart a course to the US

Dewang Mehta, head of Nasscom or the National Association of Software and Service Companies, has an interesting one-liner for critics who feel Washington's decision to issue more H1-B visas-visas that allow visitors to work and earn in the US-will mean a new brain drain from India, and this time in the critical software sector, where India has tremendous competitive edge. "What West Asia is to oil, India's to software professionals," he says. "It's obvious more and more countries will look to the world's largest pool of software professionals. And honestly, brain drain is better than having the brain in drain."

Point. But the fact remains that the number of H1-B visas issued to Indians doubled between 1994 and 1996, and increased fivefold in 1999. Of the 65,000 H1-Bs the US issued last year, 20,000 were from India. Till date, a total of 1,95,083 Indians have obtained these visas; more than half have gained green cards. Typical H1-B applicants include architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, doctors and college professors. They include both people wishing to emigrate to the US, and professionals Indian companies send to their US offices.

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