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TCS may increase local hiring at onsites to tackle visa issue

business Updated: Jul 18, 2011 21:36 IST
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In order to tackle the issue of increasing visa rejections by the US, country's largest software exporter TCS today said it is working on alternatives like raising local hiring at onsites and planning visas much in advance.

"Visa rejections have gone up... The whole visa issue is becoming serious and we need to see how we are going to execute a plan. Be it increasing local recruitment, planning visas much in advance, there are many things," TCS CEO and MD N Chandrasekaran told reporters here.

The company is spending more time in planning the project execution than before, he added. Chandrasekaran, however, added that it didn't expect the visa issue to hurt its revenue growth.

Indian outsourcing firms send thousands of employees abroad to work at client locations, especially in the US and Europe. The $60 billion Indian IT industry gets more than 60 per cent of its revenues from the US. Last year, the US had increased professional visa fees (H-1B and L-1 visa) by a minimum $2,000 for all US-based companies that have more than half of their employees on such visas till 2015.

According to estimates, it mostly affects Indian IT firms, like TCS, Infosys and Wipro, costing them $200 million annually. US authorities are also investigating a case of alleged misuse of temporary visa program by another Indian software firm, Infosys.

Asked if the company had seen visa rejections rise from other countries also, Chandrasekaran said, "It is not US-specific, you will see it in other markets. Whenever there is unemployment, there will be changes in the regulations with regard to entry.

The best way is to understand these changes and work with them." According to reports, H-1B/L1 visa rejection rates have doubled to eight per cent for larger companies, and in case of smaller companies, the rejection rates are even higher.