External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday told Parliament that India is trying to convince the US that tapping into the Indian talent is in mutual benefit of the two countries.
“Issuing visas is the sovereign prerogative of other sates. But at the same time, there are very important economic and business and social interests…We are constantly in touch with the American system, the American government, members of the Congress to convince them that tapping into the Indian talent pool is for our mutual benefit,” Jaishankar told Rajya Sabha.
He said India has been successful in convincing the US to a “large extent as actually if you look at the numbers, the number of H-1B visas has been going up in the last few years, even though the total rejection rate has been coming down”.
Replying to a question during Question Hour on whether seven Indian IT majors were disqualified for H-1B visa by the US, Jaishankar said, “With regard to seven major Indian employers, there is no disqualification on any of them. The number of visas for which they have applied to has come down in the last two years. Denial rates have also gone up,” he said.
The minister added that denial rates have not gone up only for Indian companies, but for all companies.
About the spouses of Indians, Jaishankar said the H4 visa was introduced in the US in 2015, allowing them to work in the country.
“Indians account for 93 per cent of the total visas issued in this category. There was some controversy whether this programme will be continued, but right now it is continuing…” he said.
“Indian nationals account for nearly 70 per cent of all H-1B visas issued even though the share of Indian IT companies in H-1B visas is relatively small,” he said.