H1B visa row: India conveys concerns to US administration

07 March 2017, 03:00 PM

The Indian government has conveyed its concerns at a 'very senior level' in the US administration on the move to curb H1B visa processing, law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday. 

"I think our concerns at a very senior level has already been conveyed to the government of USA. I would not like to get into the details except that Indian IT companies are giving good value addition to US companies," Prasad told reporters on the sidelines of ICEGOV conference in response to a question on recent developments. 

The US had last week said it will be temporarily suspending premium processing of H1B visas from April 3, eliminating the option of shorter waiting period for the programme that helps highly skilled foreigners work at American firms. 

Under the current system, companies submitting applications for H1B visas for potential employees can pay an additional sum for expedited service, which is known as premium processing. 

The temporary suspension could last up to six months, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

H1B visas are widely used by Indian IT majors. Premium processing costs an additional 1,225 dollar and ensures a response from the USCIS within 15 days or the fee is refunded. Processing of standard H1B applications takes between 3 and 6 months. 

Prasad said that the Indian IT companies are servicing more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. "They are making them more competitive and giving them extraordinary value addition. I am given to understand that they have paid around 20 billion dollar tax revenue in last 5 years. 

They have created 4,00,000 jobs, not only in America but other parts of the world. Indian IT companies and IT professionals are giving lot of opening to American companies in India," Prasad said. 

He also said that the whole IT movement in the world is based on sharing and reciprocity. On recent reports of misuse of Aadhaar data, Prasad said that the unique ID is completely safe and secure and that some people were trying to play mischief in a "sponsored manner" against whom police have taken action.

First Published: Tuesday, March 07, 2017 02:54 PM

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