Conveyed concerns over H1B visa to US: Ministry of External Affairs

Indian software techies will be the worst hit if the H1B visa reform bill introduced in the US House of Representatives is passed.

Published: 31st January 2017 06:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st January 2017 06:59 PM   |  A+A-

External Affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup | File Photo

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: As Trump Government moves to tighten H1B visa rules that are going to affect the country’s outsourcing IT giants; India says it has already conveyed its concerns both to the US Government and the US Congress.

Indian software techies will be the worst hit if the H1B visa reform bill introduced in the US House of Representatives is passed. The US has given over a million visas to Indians in 2016, which accounts for 72 percent of the total H1B visas issued the world over.

“India’s interests and concerns have been conveyed both to the US Administration and the US Congress at senior levels,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. The concerns have been conveyed earlier not after the Trump administration introduced the H1B visa reform bill in the US House of Representatives. Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar has reached the US immediately after the win of Republican candidate Donald Trump in the polls, and is understood to have established communication channels with the Trump team.

The bill among other things intends to double the minimum salary of H1B visa holders to $130,000. This would make it difficult for firms to source their workers from abroad, including India.

H1B is a non-immigration visa that allows US companies to hire foreign workers in the highly skilled occupation. IT Giants like Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd use these visas to send their programmers and engineers to work with their clients in the US using the H1B visas. According to estimates, the Indian IT industry has at least 350,000 workers on these visas.

The news about the introduction of the bill has not been well received by the stock markets. As the shares of TCS, HCL Tech, Infosys and Wipro registered slump on Tuesday.


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