No need for Indian IT industry to worry about curbs on H-1B visas, says govt

03/24/2017

NEW DELHI, Mar. 24: The Centre on Thursday said there was no reason to worry about thecurbs on H-1B visas or the job security of Indian IT professionals working in the US for the time being as the Indian government is in talks with the Trump administration on the matter.

Foreign minister of India Sushma Swaraj said regarding H-1B and L1 visas for professionals, four bills have come to the US Congress but they have not been passed.

She said the government was engaging with the US at the highest level to ensure that the interests of Indian people or the IT industry are not affected.

Swaraj said the government was taking steps so that the four bills regarding H-1B and L1 visas are not passed in such a form. The foreign secretary had met US Congress members who had been all praise for Indians, the minister said. "So there is no reason to worry about it as of now," she added.

"We are conveying to them that IT professionals are not stealing jobs but contributing to the US economy and making it stronger," the minister said.

Addressing concerns by MPs during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Swaraj said it would not be correct to say that there has been a change in the US policies after the Trump administration has come to power.

She pointed out that even before Donald Trump became President, there had been a "flip-flop" in the H-1B visa policy by the US .

"In 1990 when H1B visas were first introduced, the cap was 65,000. In 2000, during NDA, it was raised to 1,95,000 for three years. In 2004 the number of these visas was again reversed to 65,000 by the US. So there has been a flip-flop on this policy even before Donald Trump government," she said.

The minister also informed the House that the visa facility extended to the spouse of the Indian professionals has not been withdrawn by the US so far.

On illegal migrants, Sushma said that the US authorities have given a list of 271 persons who they have identified for deportation, but India had categorically informed them that it would allow their deportation only after proper verification.

"We have not accepted this list and have sought more details. We have said that it is only after we verify the details, can we issue an emergency certificate for their deportation," she added.

 

 

 


Swaraj said, "There are no authentic figures on the number of undocumented Indian immigrants in the US", adding that the government provided travel documents only after the concerned person was conclusively identified as Indian.

"In case we don't provide travel documents, they would be jailed," Swaraj said, adding that from 2014 till date, 576 people have been provided travel documents.

 

 

 


She said India will once again raise the issue of totalization once "the jobs of Indian IT professionals are ensured to be secure".(TOI)

 

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