Arun Jaitley Raises H1B Visa Issue With US Commerce Secretary

Jaitley raised the H1B visa issue with the US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and stressed the importance of Indian IT companies to both the economies.

Venkata Kondubhatla

Washington (DC):Jaitley raised the H1B visa issue with the US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and stressed the importance of Indian IT companies to both the economies. Stressing the importance of the role played by the Indian skilled labor in the US, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley brought up the H1B visa issue in his meeting with the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, as per the reports.

Ross believed to have said that that Trump administration had asked the federal departments to review the H1B program and that they hadn’t made any decision on that yet. He reportedly said that the Trump administration wants to reform the H1B visa program to support a merit-based system.

The finance minister landed in Washington, D.C on Thursday morning, along with his delegation, to attend the meetings at International Monetary Fund and at the World Bank.

Jaitley taking the issue further believed to have stressed on the economic benefits both the countries had enjoyed because of the contributions of the IT companies and hoped it would continue.

The Trump administration has recently cracked down on the H1B visa abuses and signed an executive order directing the federal departments — Justice, Homeland Security, Labour and State — to review the program and come up with recommendations to use the program to allow only highly-skilled foreign workers.

The Indian IT companies depend a lot on H1B visa program and about 60 percent of the work comes from the US. The companies use the H1B visas to send their employees to the US to work on the projects, mostly to deal at the client’s end and coordinate between the US clients and the groups in India who implement the outsourced client’s work.

The companies will be impacted to some degree because of the tightening of the rules on the foreign workers.

Before heading back home, Jaitley will hold meetings with think tanks and Indian-American groups in the US.

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