The H-1B visa fee hike by the US is premature!

Very recently, US President Barack Obama signed into law a legislation to secure the US-Mexico border with $600 million raised by massively hiking work visa fees, ignoring concerns over a “discriminatory” provision that will largely hit Indian firms, including Wipro, Tata, Infosys and Satyam.

There are two parts to this story – one, the US wants to strengthen its forces along its Mexican border to fight illegal immigration; and two, the US wants to secure the jobs for its citizens instead of ‘losing’ them to foreigners.

As far the first part goes, securing its borders is an autonomous decision any country can make and nobody (except the countries involved) can have an opinion on it. However, the money to fund that operation could have come from anywhere – perhaps a cut from the billions-of-dollar sanctions to Pakistan? Or even by increasing taxes levied on trade between the US and Mexico? It’s quite intriguing why the US chose to put the ‘burden’ on the IT industry. And further more intriguing because, it is completely failing at it.

Moving on to the second part, the US seems to be trying to kill two birds with one stone – birds: Mexican Immigrants and Outsourced Workers; stone: The New Law. Sounds a bit too desperate.

Anyhow, the price hike will hardly affect the foreign companies. Companies applying for H-1B visas to ‘migrate’ its employees to the US are definitely servicing US-based clients. The hike in the price of the visas will directly be transferred to the client and hence the money that the US wishes to raise will absolutely come from within! This could be understood as an indirect tax to its own commercial and industrial sector. Furthermore, this premature move only affects the inflow of talented workforce into the US which may have consequences rooted in the future.

To conclude, I feel the whole ‘securing the border’ drama is just an excuse and if the US was really looking to raise money for the cause, it could have directly taxed its people because, the issue is to keep them safe right?

Read between the lines!

“Buy 3, Take 5 FREE!”

“90% Discount – Limited Period!”

Its not surprising how our eyes light up when we look at an advertisement for a too-good-to-be-true (TGTBT) offer. Our hearts jump and a sudden surge of excitement rushes through our minds — “I should get that!” Our brain’s logical thinking takes a backdrop and out come our wallets and the transaction takes place. And we live our lives happily-ever-after.

Oh wait! Did I miss something? But of course, 90% of all those extravagant offers keep you happy only for a short while. The excitement all dies when you realize that you are over-paying, or you got duped for a cheap product or the after-sale service is hell!

A business man never ever sells something for anything lesser than what he bought it for, unless he’s gone mad. That’s a universal fact! All the offers that are advertised are a part of his long-term investment which is going to get his product recognition and establish it in the market.

That said, there is no denying the existence of legitimate TGTBT offers. But a 0-catch, no-strings-attached, TGTBT offer is very rare and illusory. If you happen to come across such an offer, control your excitement and do some logical thinking. Read the complete terms and conditions (Look for  ‘* Conditions Apply.‘) before buying. Verify the company that is making the offer and ask for advise from previous buyers. The easiest way is to Google reviews for that product/service.

Few years ago, Reliance Communications, when it first entered the mobile market, offered a “Dhamaka” offer giving away mobile phones + connections for only Rs. 500/- I still remember the long queues that spiraled around the Reliance outlets as people rushed in to buy a mobile. Later next day, a newspaper article described the entire terms in detail. The initial 500/- was only a down-pay for the mobile and the final bill amount spread over two years was Rs. 7200/- That day,  the length of the queue was drastically reduced!

Very recently, Reliance Broadband, launched an offer for their new 3.1Mbps plug-n-play wireless broadband service. They are giving away the USB modem and two months of unlimited usage for Rs. 3500/-


The “unlimited” usage is actually limited to 10Gb per month, after which each Mb costs Rs. 2/-! Now that’s costly! On the contrary, BSNL offers true unlimited wireless broadband (although at speeds of upto 2Mbps) at Rs. 750/- per month. That’s less than 25% of the Reliance’s offer!

If you are looking for a new wireless broadband connection, learn more about all your options and make an educated choice! 🙂