We'll work with India to implement new visa law: US

We'll work with India to implement new visa law: US

"Well, yes, we are talking to Indian officials about the bill," State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley told reporters Monday when asked about the law signed by President Barack Obama Friday ignoring Indian and American corporate concerns.

"Yes, we are talking about the implications. Yes, we are reviewing a suggestion that this bill is not WTO (World Trade Organization) compliant," he said.
"I'm not aware that we've reached any final judgment, but we're not sure that necessarily any WTO issues are triggered," Crowley said referring to reports that the new law may go against the world body's rules of international trade against protectionism.

"But as we work to administer this law which Congress passed and the president signed, we will try to understand fully the potential impact that it has on individuals companies in India," he said.

Asked if the US was also talking with the Congress as suggested by him a day before it was signed by Obama, Crowley indicated that stage was over. "Well, Congress has passed the law and the president signed it," he said. "Now we're trying to understand its potential implications and we'll work closely with India as we implement it."
The measure's $ 600 million tag would be paid for mostly by hiking visa fees on what the measure's backers called a handful of foreign firms that "exploit" US visa programme to improperly import workers to the United States.

A summary of the bill named Indian firms Wipro, Tata, Infosys and Satyam, which fly thousands of employees each year to the United States to work at their clients' locations as technicians and engineers.

The legislation proposes to raise the fees on H-1B visas for companies who have more than 50 percent of their employees on such visas for highly skilled professionals from $320 to $2,320. Similarly the fee on L visas given to multi-national transferees is hiked from $320 to $2,570.

Indian officials and the US-India Business Council, representing 300 top US firms doing business with India, have warned the new "discriminatory" law could hurt burgeoning India-US economic ties.

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