Deportation of foreign students from U.S. poses a long-term challenge for tech firms who rely on American universities for talent, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. said on Thursday, warning that such a move could impact technology development.
India’s largest software services provider also said U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to stop H1-B visas, widely used by software professionals, is “unfortunate and unfair”.
The U.S. has issued new guidelines barring foreign students from remaining in America if their universities switched to online-only classes in the fall semester. The Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the Trump administration, in response.
“In the long term, based on how the situation evolves, we anticipate challenges from a sourcing perspective as a fair share of students in science, technology, engineering and medicine are international students,” TCS’ Global HR Head Milind Lakkad said. He said the treatment of international students and potential changes in the optional practical training regulation in the future “will have an impact not only on us but also technology development in the U.S.”. From an associate’s perspective, such a regulation would be “unfair”, he said.
According to Lakkad, associates hired by firms such as TCS contribute significantly to the U.S. economy by helping in running major banks, retailers, telecom firms and also manufacturing industries.
On the H1-B visa suspension, he said Trump’s move is “unfortunate and unfair” but added that the same will not have any impact for the company in the short term. TCS has a strong system of delivering talent within the U.S., Lakkad said. “It is important for all stakeholders to understand that the proclamation is causing enormous uncertainty and anxiety to associates.”
The U.S. is the biggest market for the $180-billion software industry, which directly employs over 40 lakh people. Industry lobby Nasscom has already expressed its concerns on the regulatory changes underway in the U.S.
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