The United States has conveyed to India that there is no significant change in the H1B visa regime, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today. Sitharaman said in Lok Sabha that India is articulating its concerns regarding the visa policy vigorously with the new administration in the US. However, the Minister said, there is no significant change in the H1B visa regime. “The fear, at least for 2017, is not proved to be correct. They (US authorities) are saying their current priority is to deal with the illegal immigrants,” she said during Question Hour.
Sitharaman said the issue was also taken up by the Commerce Minister recently with visiting Congressional delegation led by Bob Goodlatte and during the visit of Commerce Secretary and Foreign Secretary to the US during first week of March 2017.
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The Minister said India’s concerns on visa issues were articulated during the Strategic and Commerce Dialogue 2016 and Trade Policy Forum 2016 held in October, 2016. She said India had decided to continue their engagement on visa issues and reiterated their shared resolve to facilitate the movement of professionals.
Sitharaman said a number of industry bodies have raised concerns on visa policies of the US and these concerns were conveyed to the US authorities by the government.
The Minister said the US monitors policies of 73 countries and India may be one of them. “But we don’t recognise any monitoring by any countries. No unilateral policing is acceptable for India,” she said.