The U.S. Senate passed a $600 million border security bill introduced by Senators Chuck Schumer (D- NY) and Claire McCaskill (D- MO). The bill, according to McCaskill’s press office, will “raise fees on a handful of foreign corporations that exploit U.S. visa programs to import workers from abroad.”
The bill targeted foreign companies in general, but specifically named those based out of India: Wipro, Tata, Infosys, and Satyam; and said they exploit H-1B and L visas to import foreign workers into the United States. The bill aims to raise fees on H-1B visas (for temporary skilled workers) for non-U.S. companies who’ve more than 50% of their employees retain those very visas, and would raise fees on L visas (given to multinational transferees) for foreign companies. Fees for these visas would rise by approx. $2,000 per application.
Som Mittal, President of NASSCOM, a nonprofit Indian group, issued a statement which said the bill is unjustly punitive to foreign companies. He said that NASSCOM is working with government of India to protest the legislation, and estimates that it could have as much as a $250 million annual cost to Indian companies.