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India reiterates H-1B concerns as Trump administration goes ahead introducing strict norms

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Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had urged the US authorities to change their perspective for H-1B visa.

India reiterated its concern over the Trump administration’s decision to introduce strict norms for processing H-1B visas, which will adversely affect the interests of Indian IT companies.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj flagged the issue during a meeting with a US Congressional delegation from the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology led by Chairman Lamar Smith. “EAM @SushmaSwaraj flagged the issue of H1B visa as a strong concern and sought bipartisan Congressional support for the same,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted on Tuesday.

The administration’s decision to introduce stricter norms for the issuance of H-1B visa will dampen the prospects of Indian IT companies.

According to the recent USCIS report on H1B petition filed between FY2007 and FY2017, India tops the list with a total of 2,183,112 petitions filed on behalf of Indian workers. Another report that has the details of the H-1B petitions approved by USCIS for the fiscal year 2016 has three Indian IT companies among top five with Infosys leading in second place only next to Cognizant with a total of 12,780 petitions and offering an average salary of $84,344 per annum.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is in the third position with a total of 11,295 petitions approved and the company is offering an average salary of $71,819 for its highly skilled foreign workers. Wipro is in the fifth position with a total of 6,819 petitions approved by USCIS and the average salary touching $73,937.

Along with the new norms, a private member’s bill introduced earlier this year in the US Congress by Democrat Zoe Lofgren seeks to increase the minimum salary of an H1-B visa holder to a whopping $130,000 from the current minimum of $60,000.

Recently, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had urged the US authorities to change their perspective for H-1B visa holders as they contribute heavily to the US economy.

“People who come in the US through H-1B visa are high-value professionals which heavily contribute to the economy of the United States. They are not illegal economic migrants. And that is why the US should treat them with a different and better perspective. We have expressed this concern of our with America,” Jaitley said in an interview with news agency ANI.