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India takes up visa rejection issue with US

India Monday expressed concern over the rise in rejection of US visa to its professionals, and asked American authorities not to resort to such protectionist tendencies.

New Delhi: India Monday expressed concern over the rise in rejection of US visa to its professionals, and asked American authorities not to resort to such protectionist tendencies.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma took up the visa rejection issue during his meeting with US Commerce Secretary John Bryson here.

"All issues of concern from both the sides were raised, particularly from our side the movement of professionals," Sharma told reporters after the bilateral meeting.

Bryson, accompanied by representatives from 16 US infrastructure firms and senior government officials, is on a six-day official visit to India. This is Bryson's first visit to India as commerce secretary.

Sharma said India was concerned over the high rejection of visa application by the US authorities.

"There have been concerns over the high rate of rejection. Last year visas declined by 28 percent. We had a very frank discussion, including some of the issues on which US has concerns," Sharma said.

The commerce and industry minister said India was concerned over the rejection of visas in both H1B and L1 categories.

H1B is work permit for temporary workers, while L1 visa refers to intra-company transfer. It allows companies to relocate qualified employees to US offices.

Rate of rejection of visa application of Indian professional in L1 category rose to 28 percent in 2011 as compared to 2.8 percent in 2008. There was a sharp increase in rejection in H1B category as well.

IANS