India trying to convince US on visa issue: Jaishankar

 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. PTI

India is trying to convince the US that tapping into the Indian talent is in mutual benefit of the two countries, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.

“We are constantly in touch with the American system, the American Government and Members of the Congress to persuade them and to convince them that tapping into the Indian talent pool is to our mutual benefit. In that, I think, we have been successful in large measure, “, the Minister informed Rajya Sabha during Question Hour.

When asked whether 7 Indian major IT companies facing disqualification, the Minister said, there is no disqualification on any of them. The number of visas for which they have applied to has come down in the last few years. Denial rates have also gone up for all companies, he added.

So, as far as these seven companies are concerned, even last year, they got 3,828 new visas, and 15,230 renewal of H-1B visas, he said.

About the spouses of the Indian's, Jaishankar said, H4 visa was introduced in the US in 2015 for them to work in the country. Indians today account for 93 per cent of the total number of visas issued in this category.

As per USCIS statistics, the minister said, a total of 1,16,031 initial or new HI-B petitions were processed and completed in fiscal 2019, out of which 27,707 were denied.

Jaishankar said in fiscal 2018, 1.25 lakh H-IB visas were issued to Indian nationals which accounted for 69.9 per cent of the total 1.79 H-IB visas issued as per the US Department of State.

"Indian nationals account for nearly 70 per cent of all H-IB visas issued even though the share of Indian IT companies in H-IB visas is relatively small," he said.

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