Friday, April 21, 2017

Migration to Australia, NewZeland, USA, UK, and Singapore More Difficult for Indian IT Professional Now

This month, particularly this week, starting from 18th April was pretty bleak for Indian IT professional looking for migration and an onsite opportunity to Australia, NewZeland, and the USA. Things were not easy from quite some time where many firms all over the world chopping and moving workforces from high-cost location to low-cost location and thus reducing the onsite opportunity for a large number of ambitious Indian IT guys working in service-based companies like Infosys, TCS, Wipro, and CTS. Things have started getting even worse due to a series of VISA reforms done by these nations to employ more stricter policies on immigrants has made the onsite dream of Indian IT professional even more difficult.

Even though Service based company like Infosys or TCS pays quite less compared to startups and product based companies, many Indian IT engineers join service based company with the sole hope of getting an onsite opportunity to these countries so that than can earn in dollars (AUD, NZD, SGD or USD) and pound (GBP) to earn good sum of money in short span of time. Now, with these increasing nationalism is going to cost them deeply.

Hire American, Buy American
The US president's election-winning campaign on "America First", which later translated to hire American works and buy American productions was an indication of what coming next. On April 18, Trump signed an executive order to review and overhaul America’s H-1B program, which allows foreign employees to work in the US for up to six years.

Since Indian IT companies were the main beneficiary of this visa, almost 70%   goes to Indian giants like Infosys, TCS, and Wipro, they are the most likely going to be affected. It is expected that minimum salary will be increased under this scheme to match American workers making the option less viable for Indian IT companies who sends   IT engineers at comparatively less cost.

This means very less onsite opportunities for junior programmers and IT professionals in coming years. A senior developer still might fit on the salary criterion but opportunities will not be the same as they are today. Since everything is in speculation mode, there is no need to panic but the outlook is certainly not positive.

Australia First
On April 18, the same day as president Trump’s announcement of the overhaul of H1-B visa program, Australia abolished its 457 visas, which allowed employers to sponsor skilled foreign talent to work in the country for up to four years. Again, the major beneficiary of 457 Visa were Indians and IT sector uses a big chunk of that.

Australia is replacing the 457 visa with two new types of temporary visas—one that will last for two years and another that will be valid for four years. But, the criteria to acquire these visas are getting tougher. Applicants will have to demonstrate previous work experience and a high level of English language proficiency.

I am not sure how this will affect Indian IT professionals who were looking to migrate to Australia by applying Australian PR which of course requires more skills, English proficiency, and more points, but the outlook is certainly not very positive if this Visa change is any indication.

This means again onsite opportunity for IT professionals with fewer years of experience particularly 3 to 4 years will be difficult.

Kiwi First
A day after Australia’s announcement, its next door neighbor New Zealand also blocked foreign workers in a bid to put Kiwis first. New Zealand was quite welcoming in terms of Visa and Permanent Residency and it was relatively easy to migrate to New Zeland as compared to the USA or the UK, but now to qualify as high-skilled labor, workers will have to earn at least 150% of the median income.

Singapore Core
In order to make sure that companies have a “Singapore core,” and to address concerns about the overpopulation of foreigners, officials have been “shutting the tap down” on Indian workers, according to Nasscom. They were issuing fewer Visas to Indian IT professionals and even approval time is taking longer than before.

The UK is the next favorite destination of Indian IT engineers after the USA but  Indian professionals, who hold nearly 60% of the skilled foreign worker visas in the UK, faced similar woes as the country raised the salary threshold for different visas and added new English language requirements. Under the new rules, Tier 2 short-term-intra-company transfers visas, the provision under which Indian tech companies typically take their workers to the UK would be discontinued. This change went into effect on April 6.

Migration to Australia, NewZeland, USA, UK, and Singapore More Difficult for Indian IT Professional Now

This news are certainly not good for Indians looking opportunity on IT sector overseas but I think this will encourage Indian IT sector to be more innovative and become more product based. I have read a lot of startups coming in India, taking help of technologies to automate, organize and streamline many day-to-day things e.g. booking a ticket for cinema, hiring a taxi e.g. Ola and Uber, going cashless e.g. Paytm. Hopefully, the decade will bring some of the Google, Amazon, and Microsoft from India.

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