Nirmala Sitharaman, Indian Commerce Minister, made an attempt to allay the fears of Indian skilled workers by saying that H-1B visas numbers would not be affected.
Asking the IT industry to not panic, the minister was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that the US is, probably, doing a correction on the lottery process. The numbers won’t change and will not come down, Ms. Sitharaman said on 20 May while addressing the press in Delhi.
There were apprehensions among Indians during the past few weeks that the mood of protectionism was growing in various developed countries, including the US, to protect the jobs for locals while tightening the rules for foreign workers.
The Trump administration is seeking to replace the existing lottery system with an immigration policy that is merit-based.
The minister said that only 17 percent of the total number of H-1B visas is granted to Indian firms and many American companies are beneficiaries of services provided by Indian companies.
Commenting on the change in the H-1B visa selection process, the minister is hoping that the US would look for foreign workers where high skill sets were required and not for first-time graduates. She said that Indians will continue to get their normal share of H-1B visas.
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