The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) expects the new President of the United States (US) Joe Biden's commitment to review and make necessary changes to harmful regulatory policies put in place by the Trump administration and would bring some relief to the IT industry.
The industry body, in its statement, said the key challenge the technology sector faces is the lack of required STEM talent in the US and that is clearly highlighted by the high degree of overall unemployment while over 750,000 plus job vacancies existed in computer occupations as of 13th January 2021.
"The rules announced by the previous administration will worsen this talent gap. NASSCOM has been actively engaged with US policymakers on these issues, and we look forward to working together with the new US. Administration to find solutions to the STEM skills gap, and enable America to be more competitive, to grow and create more jobs" the statement said.
In June last year, Donald Trump, in an executive order, suspended the entry of several categories of visa holders, including H1B and L, which most IT firms apply for in order to send their workforce to the US. Though the proclamation came with a sunset clause at the end of the year (December 31), it suspended and limited the entry of 'aliens' into the US, to those who are outside the country and also those seeking visas at the time of the order being passed.
NASSCOM had then said that the proclamation which imposed new conditions for immigration was misguided and harmful to the US economy.
"American workers are facing greater challenges than they have in years, but that does not mean that talent shortages do not continue to exist" it stated. However, later in August 2020, the State Department issued a set of exemptions, a non-exclusive list of the types of travel that would be considered in the national interest.
H-1B visa applicants who are allowed to travel include public health or healthcare professionals, or researchers to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to conduct ongoing medical research in an area with a substantial public health benefit or travel by technical specialists, senior-level managers, and other workers whose travel is necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the US.