H-1B visa: US recognises importance of Indian IT professionals, says India

Amid persisting concerns in India over the US suspension of the fast-tracking of H1B visa, India has made it clear that this is purely a business issue which should not be allowed to jeopardise huge opportunities in consolidating Indo-US economic partnership. India has also highlighted the US’ recognition of the contribution of the Indian IT professionals towards making the US economy competitive.
Clarifying India’s position, the external affairs ministry’s spokesman Gopal Bagley told the media in New Delhi on March 9 that “the presence of skilled Indian professionals is a positive for the US economy and particularly when the US seeks to build a stronger economy.”
“There are advantages in terms of backward linkages…..When we combine all this with our own government’s efforts for economic reforms and a high sustained economic growth, there is obviously a very important opportunity here for both countries to consolidate their economic partnership,” he said in response to a question.
The issue was taken up by India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar when he held talks with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington last week and flagged New Delhi’s concerns. A few days later, however, the US announced the suspension of the premium processing of H 1B visa, in keeping with the Trump administration’s stand that its priority was ban on immigrants and not the visa.
In keeping with its “America first” slogan, the Trump administration, on assuming power, had reintroduced recently a Bill that prohibits companies from hiring H1-B employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50 per cent of their employees are H1-B and L-1 visa holders and encourages companies to recruit American workers.

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