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US trying to understand impact of hike in visa fee

business Updated: Aug 31, 2010 21:13 IST

IANS
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The United States says it's trying to understand the potential impact of a steep hike in US worker visa fees on Indian companies, but no new step has been taken yet to ease Indian concerns.

"I think we have been explaining to the Indian government the specifics in the legislation, and trying to understand the potential impact on Indian companies," said Phillip J. Crowley, US State Department spokesman. "But beyond that, I'm not sure that there is any particular next step."

The new law aimed at raising $600 million for securing the US-Mexico border would cost Indian IT firms sending thousands of professionals to US on H-1B and L1 visas an additional $250 million annually.

The law which came into effect on August 14, imposes an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions will be charged.

These additional fees apply to petitioners who employ 50 or more employees in the US with more than 50 per cent of its employees in the country in H-1B or L (including L-1A, L-1B and L-2) non-immigrant status.

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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