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Suresh Prabhu: H1-B Visa Issue Raised Very Strongly With US

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Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said that India has raised the issue of the H1-B and L1 visa very strongly with the United States of America during the first US-India bilateral Trade Policy Forum under the Trump administration. Amid all the tightening of the visa norms in the US, India has asserted that the American economy has immensely benefited largely by the presence of Indian IT professionals working in the US. The Trade Policy Forum was also attended by US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer.

Suresh Prabhu

Suresh Prabhu said that they are not insisting on the issue because Indians will find it difficult to make their way into the United States of America but because the American economy will find it hard to cope with the reality as it has immensely benefited from the increased productivity that the Indian IT professionals have brought into the US market by offering their services. Suresh Prabhu also flagged many concerns related to the protective measures that the US is taking to constrict the entry of internationals into the country through annual caps, higher fee and a higher rejection rate, which have proved themselves to be problems in getting H1-B and L1 visas. This week’s new directive by the Trump administration made it difficult to renew the H1-B and L1 visa, given that the administration said that the burden of proof lies on the applicant seeking an extension.

Suresh Prabhu Robert Lighthizer

The H1-B visa is one of the most popular choices for the Indian IT professionals but under the current rules, they do not enjoy their hard-earned contribution to Social Security, which runs into more than $1 billion per annum. The trade deficit between India and the US came in at almost $20 billion, which is a rising concern for the US. Suresh Prabhu pointed to contracts of import of crude oil and LNG and orders by Indian airlines for the Boeing aircraft as steps to lower the trade deficit.

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