India Tells US To Take "Corrective Action" On Tighter H-1B Visa Norms

Tightening of norms relating to eligibility for an H-1B visa for highly skilled workers are also on the anvil, as announced by the administration of US President Donald Trump.

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India Tells US To Take 'Corrective Action' On Tighter H-1B Visa Norms

Following Donald Trump's election, the US has announced stricter norms for issuing the H-1B and L1 visas.


New Delhi:  India on Thursday urged the US to take "corrective actions" with regard to the latter's reportedly imminent plans to prohibit spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in America.

Tightening of norms relating to eligibility for an H-1B visa for highly skilled workers are also on the anvil, as announced by the administration of US President Donald Trump. 

"The US decision to put certain restrictions on visas is quite disappointing and we hope that the US will take corrective actions," Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said at the annual meeting in New Delhi of the American Chamber of Commerce in India (Amcham).

Spouses of H-1B workers in the US will no longer be able to seek employment or set up their own business, as per plans revealed to the US Senate by a senior administration official -- a move could affect thousands of Indians. 

"We would like to have the reality put into perspective that Indian companies in the US are contributing significantly in the growth of the US economy. We feel that the US must understand the concern of India," he said. 

Following Mr Trump's election on a protectionist platform, the US has announced stricter norms for issuing the H-1B and L1 visas.

Last October, Mr Prabhu said the issue of H-1B and L1 visas, which have facilitated the entry of Indian IT professionals, had been raised strongly with Washington.

Referring to the US' latest protectionist measures, Mr Prabhu said India has also flagged its concerns on trade matters.

"On trade matters, we have communicated to the US that India is a fast growing economy with an FDI (foreign direct investment) regime that is more and more participatory," he said.

Last month, Mr Trump slapped import tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, while China retaliated earlier in April increasing tariffs by up to 25 per cent on 128 US products from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts.

India has sought an exemption from the US tariffs along the lines the US has allowed to the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.

"The US is putting certain conditions on trade front which has created issues at both bilateral and multi-lateral levels. I think we need to put this behind as growth in global trade would benefit all," Mr Prabhu said. 

"Amidst the talk of trade deficits and other challenges, as long as there is no friendship deficit we will sort out those issues. American companies operating in India benefits both the nations and we must look at more opportunities that will be mutually beneficial to us." 


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