Hyderabad: After a hiatus that stretched for almost 18 months, techies in Hyderabad looking to work in the United States can now breathe a sigh of relief. The inbound travel restrictions to the US are set to be relaxed and as per the new rules, fully vaccinated travelers can enter the country beginning November. With this, IT employees, who used to regularly visit the US for on-site projects and in turn fulfil their American dream will get a shot in the arm.
The on-site projects that were kept on the back burner due to travel restrictions with most of the projects shifting off-shore will now get revived. Off-shore projects also mean that more IT outsourcing work from the US and Europe too will come to India for execution.
“While the travel restrictions did not deter the number of projects being handled by Indian IT companies, it did hamper on-site visits which provide a big opportunity for companies to raise invoices and also for employees to gain exposure. With the restrictions being lifted, we are hopeful that the on-site billings which had dropped to $30 per hour due to offshore work will go up to $100-150 per hour. In addition, it will also improve employee satisfaction as people’s aspirations will grow,” says Ravi Korukonda, Hyderabad-based technology entrepreneur.
Many IT companies such as Wipro, Mindtree, and LTI had reported higher offshore revenue in the first quarter of this financial year. Wipro had reported that revenue from services grew 48.5 per cent in the June quarter and Mindtree saw its offshore billing in the June quarter grow 2.1 per cent, while Larsen and Toubro Infotech reported a 78.9 per cent higher offshore revenue in the first quarter.
Previously, the US granted visas to the non-immigrant essential (NIE) category of people wherein business travelers could go to the US. Now, the new rule says that non-essential travelers can also travel but with certain conditions like producing a fully vaccinated certificate. And if one is going to stay there for a longer time, it is advised to take a booster dose. “With many restrictions being eased, we are hopeful that many more employees – particularly from the IT sector – can now start traveling to the US on the H1B visas,” says Ajaya Kumar Vemulapati, director, IMFS Hyderabad.
“Earlier as well, there was not much impact on the projects as most of the companies in the US were also working remotely. However, with companies looking at coming back to offices, the visa stamping gaining traction will make a big difference. We are hopeful that by next year or so, on-site projects will go up and the process will start ramping up in the last quarter of this year,” says Bharani K Aroll, president, Hysea.
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