Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that India is vigorously articulating its concerns on visa policy to the new American administration, which has assured there is no significant change in the H1-B visa regime.
“The fear, at least for 2017, is not proved to be correct. They (US authorities) are saying their current priority is to deal with the illegal immigrants,” Sitharaman said.
The issue was also taken up recently with the visiting Congressional delegation led by Bob Goodlatte, as well as during the visit of Commerce Secretary and Foreign Secretary to the US during the first week of March 2017, she said.
Indian concerns on visa issues were articulated during the Strategic and Commerce Dialogue 2016 and Trade Policy Forum held in October last year, she added.
Sitharaman said that a number of industry bodies have raised concerns over US visa policies and these concerns have been conveyed to the US authorities.
IT industry body Nasscom has said it will continue to highlight the discriminatory nature of the proposed provisions of the bill for H1-B visas which has been re-introduced in the US Congress after a failed attempt in July last year.
The bill proposes a minimum pay of $100,000 annually to every employee taken to US under the H1-B visa which is an over 66 per cent increase from the current average.