It appears that it isn't just the US that is clamping down on work visas for techies. Even Singapore has been making its immigration rules tighter, making it hard for both Indian tech companies and workers to find growth opportunities in the island nation.
According to IT industry association, Nasscom, the crackdown on work visas in Singapore over the past few years has left fewer than 10,000 Indian tech workers in Singapore, hurting the ability of Indian companies to pursue growth in the island nation.
Tighter restrictions include fewer visa renewals, as well as stricter criteria for work visas including higher minimum salary for eligibility. As many as 200 applications were put on hold last year and no subsequent action was taken by the Singapore government, ET reported.
Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar told PTI that visa issuance to tech workers under intra company transfers has "reduced to a trickle" and so for all practical purposes "the tap has been shut".
Singapore has emerged as an important destination for many Indian companies as it serves as a major hub to serve clients in the Asia Pacific region. All major Indian tech companies including TCS, HCL, Infosys and Wipro have a presence in Singapore. However, the US and European Union still makes up the vast majority of the target markets for these companies, accounting for over 80 per cent of export revenues.
"If things don't change, companies will have to look for alternate ways for the region...search for alternate locations," Chandrashekhar said.
With PTI inputs.