There is no change in H-1B visa policy

Washington: There is no change in the US’ H-1B visa policy which is currently undergoing a review to ensure that it does not disadvantage US workers or wages, a senior Trump administration official has said ahead of next week’s 2+2 Dialogue during which India is expected to raise the issue of the work visa popular among Indian IT professionals.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The Trump administration is pushing for a reform of the H-1B system, saying some IT companies were abusing the US work visas to deny jobs to American workers. Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that India was taking up the issue with the White House as well as with US Congressmen. “We will raise it humbly at the 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi on September 6,” Swaraj said. A senior official of the US administration acknowledged that it was prepared for India raising the H-1B issue at the 2+2 Dialogue, but added that it would not have much to say as the policy remained the same.

The US has extended by over five months the temporary suspension of premium processing for H-1B visas as part of its efforts to clear the backlog. The H-1B visa has an annual limit cap of 65,000 each fiscal year as mandated by the Congress. The first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries are exempt from the cap. -Agencies

It’s important to India

 The Trump Administration’s executive order has called for a review of the visa programme but there has been no change to the processing of visas. So it’s impossible for me to speculate on the outcome. It is obviously an issue that is important to India.

-Senior official, Trump administration

Shape up or we will quit: don to WTO

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