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India Says It Has Conveyed Its 'Concerns And Interests' Over H-1B Visa Issue To US

Nearly two-thirds of H1B visa applicants are Indian nationals.

31/01/2017 8:52 PM IST | Updated 31/01/2017 9:02 PM IST
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NEW DELHI -- With reports that President Donald Trump is set to sign a new executive order aimed at overhauling H-1B and other work visas, India today said it has conveyed its "interests and concerns" to the US.

"India's interests and concerns have been conveyed both to the US administration and the US Congress at senior levels," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

However, he didn't elaborate whether the issue was raised after the recent reports that an executive order has been drafted by the Trump Administration and will severely impact Indian companies, specifically IT organisations.

The draft of the order was leaked and published by some news websites on 30 January.

As per the leaked draft order, Trump would 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.

The draft order will not only strangulates H-1B and L1 visas, but also increases inspector raj and ends employment authorisation cards to spouses on such work visas.

"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," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.

Nearly two-thirds of H1B visa applicants are Indian nationals who either work for Indian IT services firms such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro or the local operations of US firms such as Accenture, IBM and Google.

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