Manmohan to raise visa issue during Obama visit: Preneet Kaur | india | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan to raise visa issue during Obama visit: Preneet Kaur

india Updated: Aug 22, 2010 22:32 IST

PTI
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India will raise the issue of the proposed increase of visa fees with US President Barack Obama during his visit to the country in November, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said on Sunday.

"India has already conveyed its concern to the US and the Prime minister will also take up this matter with President Barack Obama during his visit in November to India," Kaur told reporters in Patiala.

Pointing out that the US government was still thinking about its implementation, she said "let's be hopeful that some positive will come after deliberations between two head of states in November."

There is resentment among Indian IT firms over US' move to hike H-1B and L-1 visa fees. The hike in the visa fees to fund new measures would result in Indian IT companies having to shell out up to $250 million annually on visa costs, industry experts have said.

The proposed increase in visa application fee by at least $2,000 for next five years would raise nearly $550 million out of $650 million that have been allocated for increasing the security at the US-Mexico border.

The minister was asked about concerns voiced by countries including New Zealand regarding participation in the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

"When it is a high-profile event, the threat perception is always there and it is better to be alert," the minister said adding, "we will provide fool-proof security to all the players and officials."

Asked about Punjab police's claim that Sikh militants were using Malaysia as their base to launch terror strikes on India or to hamper the Commonwealth Games in October, she said she had no information about it and would make inquiries.