India complains on US, UK and Canada visas with WTO’s Trade in Services Council

WTO

On 17June, India complained against the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada at the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Trade in Services Council over visa moves it considers as hurdles to its service suppliers who wish to be involved in mercantile activity in those countries, but are unable to in the three nations, which stated unambiguously that this council was not the right forum to raise those issues.

India raised the issue at the council’s meeting regarding Britain’s prospective enactment of recommendations by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), increase in certain visa fees by the US and Canada and opacity in application procedures of Canada for Indian computer service suppliers.

On January 19, the MAC circulated a report recommending that the UK government hike minimum salary ceilings for high-skilled worker visas from £20,800 to £30,000 and charge a yearly £1,000 fee for each high-skilled worker using a certain type of visa. In US currency, the increase would be equivalent to about $30,500 to $44,000 and the annual fee would be $1,467.

The meeting also saw India, Mexico, Korea, Malaysia and Australia announce their intention to renew talks on electronic commerce by holding a workshop on 5 July on the issue at the WTO. Discussions on e-commerce could include members seeking to certify best practices in free trade agreements or declaring a ban on customs duties on electronic transmissions, which were agreed upon by WTO members at a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2015.

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