Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a bilateral meeting with the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington yesterday where he raised the burning issue of tightening H1B visa rules in the US which largely affects the Indian IT and other skilled professional.
Accompanied by Indian Ambassador to US, Navtej Sarna and Secretary, Economic Affairs Shaktikanta Das, Jaitley raised the matter with his US counterpart on the recent executive order which indicate a possible tightening of the H-1B visa regime., Bureaucracy Today has learnt
He outlined the significant contributions the skilled Indian professionals have made to the US economy and expressed the hope that the US administration will take this aspect into consideration while taking any decision.
Both leaders emphasized the strength of Indo-US economic relations and the bipartisan support it has acquired over the years. Finance Minister briefed the US Commerce Secretary on the strength of the Indian economy and the significant structural reforms Government of India has undertaken over the last three years. The US Commerce Secretary Ross congratulated Jaitley on making the GST a reality.
On April 19, US President Donald Trump signed the executive order paving the way for stringent H1B visa rules enforecment which will make it difficult for highly skilled foreign workers to enter US on work. Enforcing his “Buy American and Hire American’ policy,
Trump while signing the executive order had said US workers have long called for reforms to end visa abuse. The reforms in H1B visas is long over due. H1B visas should be given to highes paid applicants and should never ever be used to replace Americans. Indian H1B visa holders are lowly paid comparatively which make them sought-after by the US companies looking to cut down on costs.
This order mostly affects Indian IT professionals as they big Indian outsourcing firms like Infosys, Wipro, TCS send their skilled professionals on H1B visa to work onsite for the US clients at a low wage. The median salary for the H1B workers from India is $70,000 whereas big US companies offer much more to the H1B workers at a median salary of $1,20,000. So much is the popularity of H1B visa that on April 8, the H1B visa application cap of 85,000 was reached within 5 days of opening the channel by US Citizenship and Immigration Services.