Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said the Centre had expressed India’s concerns about restrictions the United States is looking to impose on H1-B visas to the “right quarters” in Washington, PTI reported. Prasad said the contribution of Indian IT companies in the United States and other countries needs to be “presented in a more cogent way”.
“I am proud of Indian IT companies. Some concerns have been raised. We are working with Ministry of External Affairs and our concerns have been conveyed in right quarters of US administration,” Prasad said. Indian IT companies are are based in 286 cities across the globe, he said.
On February 2, the Centre had said it would not “prejudge the outcome” of United States President Donald Trump’s move to tighten H1-B work visa norms for the country. MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said similar proposals had been introduced in the past and had failed to secure the US Congress’ approval. It was also announced that the heads of a number of Indian IT companies will meet United States lawmakers and officials from Trump’s administration in February to discuss the changes made to H1-B visa regulations.
Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and several other IT companies seek a considerable number of H-1B visas to send Indian workers to the US. IT stocks in Indian markets have taken a hit since news emerged that the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act, 2017, had been introduced in the US House of Representatives, calling for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders. This would make it much more expensive for IT firms to hire professionals from outside the US without justifying why they have not employed Americans.
More that three lakh Indian engineers are believed to be on H-1B visas in the US.