Indian IT industry needs to rethink business strategy after immigration curb in US, UK & Singapore

The Indian information technology industry will be forced to seek newer ways of doing business as governments in major markets like the US, the UK and Singapore place a slew of restrictions on travel and immigration of engineers that are disrupting the outsourcing model which has delivered enormous growth in the past two decades.

The tough stance adopted by these countries aimed at both controlling the inflow of engineers and rooting out visa malpractices in client locations will trigger an overhaul of strategy by outsourcing giants — both local and global — according to industry observers who expect an expansion of Indian operations and more aggressive hiring overseas as the $150-billion industry also battles headwinds from the rising automation of technology services.

The US and UK account for over 60% of the Indian IT services revenues. On Monday, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that oversees lawful immigration to the US, released a policy memo that said computer programmers will not be eligible for H-1B visas by default, and will have to justify being considered for “speciality occupation”.

It will also undertake site visits across the US to prevent “fraud and abuse” of the visa programme. “The problem with spot.

India’s minister for external affairs, Sushma Swaraj, told the Rajya Sabha that no new bills related to H-1B visas have been passed by the US Congress so far. “There are a total of 13 Bills, out of which four Bills are about H-1B, six Bills are about outsourcing…(But) nothing has happened, only Bills have been introduced, three of which are about immigration,” she said. Experts are of the view that more immigration restrictions are on the way. To combat this, Indian outsourcing companies  must” .