Concerns related to the hike in visa fee will be looked into, as assured by the US. However, it maintains that the decision was not aimed against Indian professionals.
Quoting data…US Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker, expressed the following – “Indians were major ‘beneficiaries’ as about 69 percent of US H1B visas and 30 percent of all L1 visas were issued to them last year. Any changes that have been made towards H1B and L1 visa applications are not limited or focused on Indian nationals. They are really across the board change.”
She further added, "But given the concerns expressed by Indian industry, I committed to Minister (Nirmala) Sitharaman to look into this and report back."
At a joint press conference by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Commerce Minister Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj... Pritzker responded to the question on visas.
The issue around visas was raised during the 2nd Indo-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) and also in the CEO Forum. "Secretary Pritzker came forward proactively and spent some time (with industry representatives) and then she has offered that she will look into this matter definitely...," said Sitharaman.
To further dispel the impression of being ‘targeted’, Pritzker came forth voluntarily during the CEO Forum meeting, and assured India on looking into the visa issue.
India has oftentimes raised the issue of visa fee hikes by the US. A case has also been filed in the WTO against the decision of the US to levy high charges on temporary working visas.
During the joint press conference, India’s External Affairs Minister additionally said that she has sought US Secretary Kerry's support, for the resolution of prolonged issues of totalisation and the hike in fees for H1B and L1 visas, that impact people-to-people exchanges.