Washington, Oct. 1 (PTI): Microsoft has suggested a fee of $10,000 (Rs 5 lakh) for a new category of H-1B visas and $15,000 (Rs 7.5 lakh) for green cards in proposals that could hit Indian IT firms the most.
The fee hikes could raise $5 billion over a decade and the money would be used to generate skilled manpower in the US, according to the plan mooted by a senior Microsoft official at Washington’s Brookings Institute last week.
The software giant’s proposal comes at a time visiting external affairs minister S.M. Krishna is expected to seek an increase in H-1B visas in his meeting with secretary of state Hillary Clinton this week.
The new H-1B visa and green cards, according to the Microsoft plan, would have an annual limit of 20,000 and would be restricted to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The money raised would be used for the STEM programs. Indian techies get the maximum number of H-1B visas and such a proposal could affect them the most if cleared by Congress.
“Too few American students are achieving the levels of education required to secure jobs in innovation-based industries,” Microsoft’s Brad Smith said last week.