Infosys to hire 10,000 US employees
Infosys to hire 10,000 US employeesReuters/Abhishek Chinnappa

Indian IT and outsourcing major Infosys plans to hire 10,000 Americans within the next two years. CEO Vishal Sikka said the local hiring move came as companies were under pressure to recruit more Americans.

"Yes it does coincide. I understand the visa regulations and so forth," Sikka told the Financial Times.

Infosys was one of the tech firms mentioned by US officials last month when they announced a review of H-1B visas. The White House said salaries paid to Indian workers undercut those of American workers.

The local hiring reflected the Infosys' changing nature of work, said Sikka. Advanced technologies including artificial intelligence were also part of the company's business, which according to him put more emphasis on local hires who could work closely with customers. "You need a strong sense of locality in the work we do," he added.

The recruitment plans, which include 2,000 jobs at one of the four technology centres Infosys is planning to build in the US, are due to be announced at an event with Eric Holcomb, Indiana governor, on Tuesday (2 May).

Sikka said the hiring Infosys was planning was in line with more valuable types of work. "I don't see a direct correlation there. These are high-margin, high-salary, high-value jobs," he said.

The company did not disclose how many of its employees are in the US. In 2014, it announced plans to hire 2,100 Americans, calling the move a "major recruitment drive".

Indian companies are said to flood the system with applications to win the lottery used to allot the 85,000 H-1B visas that are available. Last year, Infosys alone filed more than 25,000 visa applications, more than any other company, according to MyVisaJobs.com.

A US official told the Financial Times that top Indian IT companies pay $60,000 (£46,605) to $65,000 a year, with four out of five workers paid below the median salary that locals get for the same jobs.

Infosys offered its H-1B applicants an average of $81,705 last year, lower than the salaries paid by leading US tech companies that rely on H-1Bs. Google and Microsoft offered $130,000 to workers who applied for the visa last year.