The proposed reforms to the H1B visa standards under the Senate’s Comprehensive Immigration Bill have the potential to have a profound impact on the outsourcing industry, and therefore the sourcing professional. A Computerworld report on leading H1B beneficiaries in 2012 puts Cognizant on top with 9,281 visas, followed by TCS (7,469), Infosys (5,600), Wipro (4,304), Accenture (4,037), HCL America (2,070), and TechM/MSat (1,963) and put together they accounted for 40% of all H1B visas allotted during the year. These companies have often been accused of abusing the H1B visa program by bringing in lower-cost foreign resources to the US and ‘hogging’ the visa quotas, thereby making it difficult for US companies’ to recruit skilled foreign workers.
While the changes are designed to protect the integrity of the H1B visa program and enable US employers access to the skilled resources they need, they could potentially change several crucial aspects of IT services and outsourcing relationships – many in ways that will be harmful to customers. In particular we see that: