US to address US H-1B visa fee hike issue with India
United States, 20th August: The United States has stated that it is trying its best to address the issue of US H-1B visa fee hike and is in
constant touch with the government of India.
The US has admitted the fact that the hike in US visa fees for US H1B visas and L1 visas is going to affect the Indian IT companies badly.
Giving details about the whole issue, a senior administration official Mark Toner said before the reporters that the US understands the concerns of the Indian government when asked about the reaction of the US regarding India’s plans of complaining to the WTO (World Trade Organization).
Toner added that the visa fee hike will affect Indian IT companies investing in the US and also the Indians working in the US as well as the US businesses.
However, the US remains assured that the recent issue of US visa fee increase will not have any impact on the long-term economic ties between both the nations, Toner reiterated. He also said that economic ties with India will prove beneficial for both the nations.
The comments by the official spokesperson for the US administration came following reports that India called the recent US visa restrictions as incompatible with the rules of WTO. Rahul Khullar, the Indian Trade Secretary had stated in a news agency report said that the new restrictions on US visas are not compatible with the WTO.
A recent legislation by the US government- USD 600 border security bill- had hiked the US visa fees ( US H1B visa and L1 visa) by $2000. As a result of the new legislation by President Barack Obama, around US $550 million will be raised for the coming five years period.
Meanwhile, Janet Napolitano, the US Secretary of Homeland Security, had stated last week that the hike in the US visa fee is justified and it will not have any effect on the US-India ties which will continue to grow strong and robust.
Nonetheless, the officials are admitting that the recent US visa row has put some strain on the economic ties between both the nations.