10 Feb 2014

USA Immigration Bill

The Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs Shrimati Preneet Kaur
The Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs Shrimati Preneet Kaur informed members in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today that on 27 June 2013, the United States Senate passed Bill No. S.744, "The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act 2013”.

 Indian IT industry has raised concerns over some measures in the Bill that relate to skilled non-immigrant visas, which, if brought into force, after the completion of US Congressional processes in both Houses, is likely to place more onerous requirements on H1-B/L-1 visa dependent firms including higher wages; enhanced audit by U.S. agencies; non-displacement guarantee/additional recruitment notice requirements; and higher visa fees. 

The Government has conveyed the concerns of Indian IT companies to the U.S. side at Ministerial levels during the meetings of Strategic Dialogue in June 2013, CEOs Forum in July 2013, and the Economic and Financial Partnership in October 2013. 

Prime Minister also raised these concerns with the U.S. President in their meeting on 27 September 2013 in Washington DC. The Indian Embassy in Washington is working with IT industry to create more awareness in the US Congress on concerns of Indian IT companies regarding the Senate Bill. 

U.S. officials have acknowledged the contribution of our IT industry to the two economies and our bilateral trade relations and have been sympathetic towards their concerns. 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured External Affairs Minister that the U.S. Administration would work with the U.S. Congress to address these concerns. 

U.S. President also assured Prime Minister that the concerns of Indian IT industry will be looked into. 

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