India concerned about Trump's US L1 and H1B visa bills

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Gage Skidmore on Flickr

India is concerned with the Trump administration on questions relating to L1 visa and H1B visa reforms, an Indian minister said recently.

L1 and H1B

The L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows overseas companies to transfer executives and managers including business owners for up to seven years under the L1A visa and specialized knowledge employees under the L1B visa for up to five years to a new or existing US office.

While the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate level workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT for up to 6 years.


6 L1 and H1B bills in US Congress

 

Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India's parliament, Minister of State for External Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh made assurances that despite US congress discussing 6 bills relating to the L1 visa or H1B visa, no major policy changes have yet been made by the Trump administration.

“The bills seek to amend the various provisions related to the grant of H1 and L1 visas. However, so far none of these bills have been passed and no comprehensive policy changes have been made,” said Singh last month.

Indian IT workers worried

Skilled Indian workers, particularly IT professionals, make up the majority of H1B visa recipients, and the drafting of these bills has raised concerns in the country's IT sector.

These concerns were addressed by Deputy Opposition Leader Anand Sharma, who said that H1B fee hikes and problems with allowing spouses to travel to the US have cased problems.

“Unfortunately this matter was not taken up and no assurance has been given. If we look at the joint statement (issued by India and the US after Trump and Modi met), there is not even a mention of Indian IT professionals and H1B visa issue,” said Sharma.
 

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