India on Thursday said it is assessing the impact of United States President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending new visas for foreign workers, including the H-1B visa for highly skilled workers, until the end of 2020.
Anurag Srivastava, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, in a press briefing said the ban is likely to affect movement of Indian professionals who avail non-immigrant visas to work in US. “We are assessing the impact of the order on Indian nationals and industry in consultation with stakeholders,” Srivastava added.
On June 23, Trump temporarily suspended the entry of certain foreign workers into the United States despite strong opposition from business groups, including major tech companies. The ban, which the White House said was necessary to make jobs available for Americans amid the coronavirus crisis, will last until the end of the year.
“People-to-people linkages and trade and economic cooperation, especially in technology and innovation sectors, are an important dimension of the US and India partnership,” the foreign ministry said. “High-skilled Indian professionals bring important skills, bridge technological gaps and impart a competitive edge to the US economy. They have also been a critical component of the workforce that is at the forefront of providing Covid-19 related assistance in key sectors, including health, information technology and financial services.”
Srivastava added that the United States has always welcomed talent, hoping that Indian professionals will continue to be welcomed into the country in the future.
Trump’s move will disproportionately hurt Indian citizens, who have received as much as 70% of H-1B visas over the past five years, and both US and Indian tech companies that rely on them for smooth operations. The order was widely criticised by tech companies, American entrepreneurs, human rights’ organisations and even members of the Republican party to which Trump belongs.