US visa fee hike: Govt against discrimination towards Indian professionals

Ravi Shankar Prasad said that there should be no discrimination in permitting Indian IT professionals from working in the rising industry in the United States.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: May 11, 2016 3:34 pm
US visa fee hike, US visa Indians, US visa fee indians, US Visa fee hike news Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Against the backdrop of hike in visa fee by the US, the government on Wednesday said it is against discrimination towards Indian professionals seeking to work in the rising IT industry in that country.

Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that there should be no discrimination in permitting Indian IT professionals from working in the rising industry in the United States.

Responding to supplementaries, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken up the issue of H-1B and L1 visa fee hike at the highest level with the US government and it will also be taken up at trade negotiations. In his written response, the minister said as per National Association of Software and Services Company (NASSCOM), the impact of the US visa fee hike on Indian IT units is estimated to be around USD 400 million per year. This assessment includes both new applications and extensions.

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However, the US government has informed that as of now, extensions are not covered. “Therefore, the estimated impact of US visa fee hike on new applications alone would be around USD 200 million,” he said. According to NASSCOM, there are nearly 6 lakh Indian IT professionals working in the US.

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