US proposes to talk to India on the H-1B fee hike

US H-1B visa to raise charges for skilled temporary immigration

A recent statement by the US Government proposes to hold conferences with India from about a month from now, amidst the Indian Government’s protestation against changes to US H-1B visa to raise charges for skilled temporary immigration with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, is working with a group of legal advisors to demonstrate that the visa rules victimize Indian IT organizations working in the US. There is little hope that a cheerful settlement will be reached during early consultation changes, but there is a dire need for officials of both countries to sit across each other and state their case.

“We want the US to see our point of view at the consultation stage itself and revoke the visa fee hike, but this is unlikely to happen. We have to be ready to fight a case at the dispute panel. Our legal team is trying to prove violation of WTO rules on both de facto (in effect) and de jure (by law) basis,” the official said.

Last December, US President Barack Obama got an enactment presenting an extra expense of $4,000 and $4,500 for specific classifications of H-1B visa and L-1 visa, respectively. Since, the fee hike is valid only on organizations that employ more than 50 skilled work immigrants or which have a larger number of overseas workers than local people working for them. The argument from the Indian side is that the fee hike will cause damage to Indian IT organizations working in the US.

Foreign Secretary, S Jaishankar, brought up the matter with US Trade Representative Michael Froman amid his visit to the US a week ago and called attention to the conceivable effect the visa expense hike will have on the Indian IT organizations, as indicated by authorities in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India (MEA).

In addition, John Chambers, the Executive Chairman of the communications giant Cisco, has supported India’s move to take the matter to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Original Source : Livemint

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