A new law raises the fees for H1B and L1 visas by almost $2,000 for companies over half of whose employees use work visas.
|The Indian government is pressuring the Obama administration to roll back a nearly 200 percent increases on visa fees for foreign workers in the U.S. |
A new law signed by Pres. Barack Obama on Aug. 13 raises by almost $2,000 the fees for H1B and L1 visas on companies over half of whose employees use work visas. India’s Commerce Ministry believes the bill unfairly targets Indian companies — a higher proportion of whose employees are foreign workers — than U.S. companies like Microsoft and Intel — who have more foreign workers, but whose proportions are below the 50 percent threshold for the higher fees. The law is expected to cost Indian companies nearly $200 million annually.
New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who sponsored the legislation on border security whose $600 million costs are paid for by increasing fees on skilled workers, has drawn flack for likening Indian tech companies to “chop shops,” although he clarified that he meant to call them body shops. In a floor debate, Sen. Schumer said: “The emergency border funds will be paid for by assessing fees on foreign companies known as chop shops that outsource good, high-paying American technology jobs to lower wage, temporary immigrant workers from other countries. These are companies such as Infosys. But it will not affect the high-tech companies such as Intel or Microsoft that play by the rules and recruit workers in America.”