H-1B not immigration but trade, services issue

H-1B not immigration but trade, services issue

Trump recently signed an executive order to bring about changes in the H1-B visa system which employed high-skilled workers from foreign countries.

The order prods the Justice Department and other federal agencies to propose reforms to ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid foreign applicant.

"It is not an immigration issue". Phil Fersht, research firm HfS Research CEO, told ET the order is "very good news" for the IT industry.

The MEA spokesperson recalled that the government had agreed with the government of France last year to allow Indian students at Masters level and above to extend their stay in that country for two years. "But you are not going to protect (them) if you bring in restrictions and say they are applicable to only one set of companies, which account for only 20% of the visas", said Nasscom president R. Chandrasekhar. The application cap for financial year 2018 was reached within four days of the lottery opening this year.

Indian IT companies have been accused of misusing the H-1B visa regime, which they have consistently denied. "The MEA spokesperson also said India had already conveyed to the U.S. about thecontribution of Indian IT professionals+ to the country's competitiveness and innovation. he also showed concerns over Australian visa programme restrictions, adding", Australian officials have told India that it will have "negligible" impact on Indian professionals who are in the high-skill category". "We are shifting to a less-visa-dependent model", he said. This he referred to the USA professionals working in American firms in India.

The latest order is regarded as an attempt to improve the implementation of existing laws.

Nasscom while stating that there will not be any major impact due to the move, on Thursday said it would work closely with the governments to understand more details on the changes and ensure these changes can be implemented seamlessly to ensure business continuity for Australian customers.

He said India will make an overall assessment of the impact of the changes after the US' internal process relating to the visa programme was over. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay called it a "trade and services issue and not a matter relating to immigration".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had yesterday said his government will abolish a popular work visa used by over 95,000 foreign workers, majority of them Indians, to tackle the growing unemployment and replace it with a new programme requiring higher English-language proficiency and job skills.

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