Nasscom faults selective restrictions on U.S. visas

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

The first round of talks between officials of India's commerce and industry ministry and the US Trade Representative's (USTR) office, under the Donald Trump administration, this week saw both the sides willing to continue with the working groups and build on bilateral ties, but seemed to have differed over the vexed issue of the H1-B visa programmes for working professionals.

Sources, however, said that the new order, though against the spirit of free services trade, is unlikely to affect big Indian IT companies having huge presence in the US. And, at the centre of his campaign was his commitment to bring back jobs that America lost to developing countries. The NASSCOM, however, warned that once the review process is complete and more restrictions are imposed on the H-1B visa program, Indian IT companies will definitely feel the pain. While assistant USTR Mark Linscott headed the USA delegation for the talks on April 18, the Indian side was led by additional secretary in the commerce ministry, Anup Wadhawan.

Government announced Two New Categories Of Visas after replacing 457 in these two visas Experience in profession will be mandatory before applying, Tight English requirements will also be the part of new changes.

"Most of the reputed IT companies say they get only specialised Indian engineers to work in their U.S. establishments".

Replying to query on the latest announcements curbing skilled job visas by Australia and the United States, he said there is a rising trend of "protectionism" globally and anti-globalisation.

According to a report in the Mint, India has signalled it could respond to the USA move to restrict H-1B visas by capping the royalty payout by American companies in India to their parent firms.

Jaitley, leading an Indian delegation, arrived in Washington DC yesterday morning to attend the annual Spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

According to reports, Ross is believed to have said that the U.S. has started the process of reviewing H1B visas issues and no decision has been taken on it yet.

The US, under the new executive order, proposes to replace the current lottery system for issuing H-1B work visas with a merit-based approach.

"If Indian IT companies face discrimination in the implementation of the executive order against giving visas to entry-level workers, the matter could be incorporated in the WTO discussions", the official said.