Disappointed over plans to tighten US visa norms: Prabhu

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Suresh Prabhu. PTI File Photo

Expressing disappointment over the US' plans to prohibit spouses of H1-B visa holders to work in America, India on Thursday hoped that the Trump administration would take "corrective actions" on the issue.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations which require theoretical or technical expertise.

The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

"The US decision to put certain restrictions on visas is quite disappointing and we hope that the US will take corrective actions," Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said at an event organised by American Chamber of Commerce in India.

The Trump administration is planning to end allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US, a top federal agency official has told lawmakers. The move could severely impact thousands of Indians professionals working in America.

Prabhu said India has already communicated its concerns to the US and "we would like to have the reality put into perspective that Indian companies in the US are contributing significantly in the growth of the US economy".

The IT professionals in the US increase productivity in the economy and improve services. "We feel that the US must understand the concern of India."

He said that on trade matters, too, India has flagged its concerns.

"On trade matters, we have communicated to the US that India is a fast-growing economy with FDI (foreign direct investment) regime becoming more and more participatory," he added.

Prabhu, who also holds the civil aviation portfolio, said that India would be buying cargo as well as passenger aircraft and the US could tap this opportunity.

The US has imposed customs duties on certain steel and aluminium products. India has sought exemption from this as it exports these goods worth about $ 1.5 billion per year.

The US is putting certain conditions on trade front which has created issues at both bilateral and multilateral levels."

"I think we need to put this behind as growth in global trade would benefit all," the minister said.

The bilateral trade between the countries has increased to $ 64.52 billion in 2016-17 from $ 62.11 billion in the previous fiscal.

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Disappointed over plans to tighten US visa norms: Prabhu

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