India, US will try to solve visa issue bilaterally: Khullar
India has no immediate plan to drag the United States to the WTO court on the hike in visa fee and will try to resolve the issue bilaterally, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said in New Delhi today.delhi Updated: Aug 26, 2010 20:23 IST
India has no immediate plan to drag the United States to the WTO court on the hike in visa fee and will try to resolve the issue bilaterally, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said in New Delhi on Thursday.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will visit US next month to take up the matter with the Obama administration and law makers.
"We have already registered our complaints and are engaged in negotiations with the US authorities at various level. I am hopeful that the matter will be resolved bilaterally,” Khullar told reporters.
The US government has increased visa fee by $2,000 for certain H-1B and $2,250 for L-1A and L-1B. This is estimated to put an additional burden of $250 million annually on the Indian IT companies.
Khullar reiterated that the hike in visa fee was against the fair trade rules of the World Trade Organisation.
"We have made it clear that it violates the WTO norms and if the matter is not resolved bilaterally we will go to the WTO,” he added.
The Obama administration has hiked visa fee to fund increased spending on security along the US-Mexico border.