Voicing concerns over the hike in visa fees for professionals, India on Tuesday asked the US to find a “just and non-discriminatory solution to the issue to avoid any adverse effect on bilateral trade ties—a demand the US said it would look into.
“The issue of totalisation and recent fee hike for H1B and L1 visas has affected our people-to-people exchanges, which is a vital source of strength for our relationship. I would urge you to find a just and non-discriminatory solution to these issues,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said at the plenary session of the second Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD).
Speaking at the session, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman too said that some of the stakeholders raised concerns regarding steps which have potential to disrupt movement of professionals.
US commerce secretary Penny Pritzker said she would look into the issue. But pointed out Indians get 70% of the H1B visa the US issues and 30% of L1 visa that US issues all over the world.
The strong statement from Indian ministers at the annual India-US strategic and commerce dialogue assume significance as India has time and again raised the issue of hike in visa fees by the US.
India has also filed a case in the WTO against the US decision to impose high fees on temporary working visas.
Further, Sitharaman said that there is tremendous optimism regarding the promise and growing realisation of the potential for trade and investment between the two nations.
“The onus is purely on all of us to work together to strengthen the partnership between India and the US, as this partnership will have a significant role in shaping the global trade,” the