India has conveyed its concerns and interests both to US administration and US Congress at senior levels regarding the H1B visa issue, said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Tuesday. MEA’s response comes in the backdrop of a legislation that has been introduced in the US House of Representatives which calls for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to USD 130,000, making it difficult for firms to use the programme to replace American employees with foreign workers, including from India.
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In a statement to the media, White House Press secretary Sean Spicer had earlier said: “I think with respect to H1Bs and other visa is part of a larger immigration reform effort that the President will continue to talk about through executive order and through working with Congress.”
The executive order drafted by the Donald Trump Administration not only strangulates H-1B and L1 visas, but also increases inspector raj and ends employment authorisation cards to spouses on such work visas, which was recently introduced by the previous Obama Administration. Apparently, the draft of the order was leaked and published by some news websites on Monday. According to the leaked draft order, President Trump would seek to reverse former president Barack Obama’s extension of the duration of the optional practical training work visas, which allowed foreign students to stay in the US a bit longer after completion of their studies.
(With PTI inputs)