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US visa proclamation | TCS says H-1B ban unfortunate and unfair – Moneycontrol

Calling the US proclamation that banned non-immigrant visas such as H-1B as unfair, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said its impact will be felt till March end. However, local delivery ecosystem and remote working infrastructure will help, Milind Lakkad, its EVP and Global Head, Human Resources, said.

Speaking to mediapersons after the announcement of its Q1 earnings, Lakkad said, “The proclamation is unfortunate and unfair from our perspective.” However from the business perspective, though the company will see an impact till March 31, 2021, it will be offset by the talent supply chain and delivery ecosystem in the US, he added.

“Also, with our customers adopting Secure Borderless Workspaces (SBWS) and location independent model, we will be able to manage the situation,” Lakkad said.

Indian IT firms are one of the largest beneficiaries of H-1B and skilled non-immigrant work visa. Every year, the US issues about 85,000 fresh visas. In FY17, TCS accounted for about 15,913 H-1B visas, which fell by 50 percent to 7,592 in FY20.

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The company now has about 20,000 employees in the US and has significantly reduced its visa dependency. It expects its remote working model to further bring down travel and visa cost.

But the ban has impacted TCS employees in the US, causing them stress and anxiety. “These associates help run major banks, retailers, manufacturing companies and telcos. Every day they are significantly contributing to the US economy,” he added.

In the longer term, Lakkad said, “Based on how the situation evolves we anticipate challenges from a sourcing perspective.”

Majority of students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) discipline are international students. Given the uncertainty over treatment of international students and potential changes to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) regulation in coming months, Lakkad feels it will impact companies like TCS and also the technology development in the US.