India looks to convince US for rollback of increased H-1B visa fee

January 01, 2016
The Commerce Ministry of India is examining different options to convince the US to look for reconsidering the move of increasing the H-1B visa fees which had hit the Indian IT firms hard.

According to the government official, India is eager to sort out this matter through bilateral dialogue but also trying to build the case for increasing the issue at the World Trade Organization if the dialogue does not get the results.

India looks to convince US for rollback of increased H-1B visa fee

According to the official,  inputs have been seek from the Indian IT industry on how the IT companies are operating in the US will get affected by the visa fee increase. This data is critical to show how hard the Indian IT companies being hit by the decision. 

The previous month, the US President had signed into regulation $1.8 trillion spending packages which bring in $4000 fee for categories of H-1B visa and $4500 for L-1 visa.

The official said that the Indian Commerce Minister is likely to take this issue with the Trade Representative of the US  Michael Froman to inform him about the nation’s concerns about seemingly biased treatment towards the Indian IT firms.

The Commerce Minister had written to Caroline Atkinson,  US Deputy National Security Adviser  and Penny Pritzker, US Commerce Secretary on the matter prior to the bill was passed.

India could fight a case at WTO against the step if it had enough information to show that the visa fee increase is putting an impact on the IT firms of India working in the US and also impacting their competitiveness. 

Exports from the IT sector of India was $82 billion in the year 2014-15 with the US among top markets.

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