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US H1-B visa may become less attractive for Indians with Japanese green card

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Is Japan going to replace the United States for Indian IT professionals? Is Japan going to offer better working condition and easy permanent residency for Indian professionals in the days to come? These questions are on everyone’s minds as Indian tech professionals search for better options as the US starts closing the doors of employment for people from other nations including India.

There seems to be some good news in this regard from Tokyo. As the Japanese economy is struggling, the country seems to be preparing a blueprint for a program similar to United States’ H-1b visa to attract top technical talent to the nation from around the world.

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And there are reasons to believe that the Indian IT professionals may be the biggest beneficiary, on the lines of their role in Silicon Valley in the US. There are reports that the proposed “Japanese Green Card for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals” will swiftly grant permanent residency to such workers.

Under the plan, it may take as little as two years to provide permanent residency to such high-skilled professionals. It also brings down the period of stay required before they can apply for permanent residency in Japan to just one year from the current five years, The Hindu reported. Executive Vice President of the Japan External Trade Organisation Shigeki Maeda said the government plans to introduce this green card system next year. In addition to attracting talented and “high-skilled” professionals from India, the programme also proposes lower corporate taxes and aims to draw higher foreign direct investment to Japan, with a focus on the Indian IT sector, according to Mint.

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There are reasons to believe that India and Japan are going to collaborate more in this regard. “India has very advanced technology. Our ICT-related industry does not have the talent and capacity of India”, says a Maeda. Moreover, Maeda also pointed out the “investment imbalance” between Japan and India. He said Japanese investments in India amounted to $14.1 billion at the end of 2015, whereas Indian investments in Japan were valued at only $0.074 billion. He also highlighted the much higher worth of Indian FDI in Singapore, US and the United Kingdom.

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