India hopes for early resolution of US visa row
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 15:47
New Delhi: India on Wednesday said it has conveyed its concerns to the US over the hike in fees for H1B and L category visas and hopes for an "early resolution" of the issue as the move was affecting Indian companies.

Terming it as a "serious issue", Minister of State for Commerce Jyotiraditya Scindia assured the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour that the government has made efforts at various levels to resolve the issue at the earliest.

"The visa fees applicable to H1B and L category visas have been increased by the US under some legislative measures... The matter has been taken up at various bilateral forums and we are hopeful we will arrive at an early resolution," he said.

Contending that the visa fee hike would affect both the countries in the long run, the minister said movement of Indian professionals is also important for the US as they substantially contribute to its economy.

Replying to supplementaries, the minister said the two-way flow of professionals was 45,000 each year.

He said Indian IT companies have also conveyed that they are facing difficulties due to denial and delays in the issue of visas.

The companies have also been impacted by the Ohio order, a decision by the US state of Ohio to ban offshoring of information technology projects, he added.

The visa issue was discussed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the recent visit of US President Barack Obama to India and by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during his interaction with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has also raised the issue with his US counterpart.


First Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 15:47

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