Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022

Along With US, Singapore Is Also Blocking Visas For Indian IT Professionals

The review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) has been put on hold by the Indian government citing violation of the trade pact.

Representative image/PTI

While many Indian IT professionals are fearing hardship after US President Donald Trump's hinted at new executive order aimed at strangling work-visa programmes, Singapore has already started cutting visa approval.

According to a report by The Times of India , visas for IT professionals to work in Singapore have dropped "to a trickle".

The review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) has also been put on hold  by the Indian government citing violation of the trade pact, the report adds.

The Indian companies have been advised to hire local talent. Many such companies are relocating some of their operations to other countries in the region.

Companies like Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant and L&t have moved to Singapore apart from the early movers like HCL and TCS.

Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar told the newspaper that all Indian companies have received communication on fair consideration, which basically means hiring local people.

Quoting sources, the newspaper report says that Singapore authorities were insisting on what is called "economic needs test" (ENT), which requires compliance with certain economic criteria, to deny access to Indian professionals. 

An Indian officer said,"They are doing it despite the CECA clearly stating that there will be no ENT or quotas on agreed services. This is a violation of the agreement." 

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on Thursday assured that that there is no need to worry about the curbs on H1B visas or the job security of Indian IT professionals working in the US for the time being as the Indian government is in talks with the US regarding this, reported IANS.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, she said, "Currently there are four bills in the US Congress about curbs on H1B visas. We are engaged (in a dialogue) with the US at very high level regarding this... We are making all efforts (through diplomatic channels) to ensure these bills are not passed."