NEW DELHI: H1-B visa was among the many issues US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed during a restricted and delegation-level bilateral talks on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.
“There is a strong and vibrant Indian community in the United States and it is contributing to both the US economy and society. It was pointed out to the US side about how Indian professionals contribute to increasing competitiveness of the higher-tech sector. Apart from this, the Indian professionals also provide value to the American society by virtue of their democratic background,” the foreign secretary said and added that brutalisation of professionals was also discussed between the two leaders.
The H1-B visa has been a contentious issue between the two countries ever since Trump conceptualised the idea of restricting the number of such visas and also changing some of its clauses.
According to Trump’s plan, the spouses of H1-B visa holders would not be allowed to work in the US as is the case now.
Indian companies provide one of the highest numbers of applicants for H1-B with major tech companies like Infosys, Wipro and TCS making up the bulk of them.
Shringla also spoke about the large student community in the US.
“We know that there is a large Indian student community of around two lakh in the US. This helps to better people to people connect between the two countries,” the foreign secretary said.
Trump and Modi held talks for close to two hours. Discussions were held on increasing cooperation in the fields of defence and security, energy, technology and trade, people-to-people connect and on other global and regional issues.