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H-1B visa: Swaraj requests Tillerson not to take any adverse action

She also said that she sought cooperation from Tillerson to address the pending issues related to totalisation and urged him that the US shouldn't do anything that will hurt Indian interests

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj along with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before a meeting in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj along with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before a meeting in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

on Wednesday again raised the issue of H1-B with the when External Affairs Minister met Secretary of State here.

"We discussed the significant contributions to the economy made by skilled Indian professionals holding H1-B and L1 visas," said in a joint address to the media with Tillerson.

"I have also sought cooperation from Tillerson to address the pending issues related to totalisation and urged him that the should not do anything that will hurt Indian interests," she said.

President has called for stricter norms for issue of H1-B visas, largely availed by Indian IT firms.

A private member's bill was introduced earlier this year in the Congress by Democrat Zoe Lofgren seeking to increase the minimum salary of an H1-B visa holder to a whopping $130,000 from the current minimum of $60,000.

While Trump has spoken of restricting the H1-B visa system as part of his policy of putting Americans first, so far there have been no changes to it. This year, the same levels of 65,000 for general H1-B and 20,000 for those with advanced degrees have been kept.

Indians get most of the H1-B although there are no national quotas for the facility.

Replying to a question, said that while there had been no change made yet to the H1-B rules, if the private member's bill in the Congress got passed, Indian professionals would be impacted.

"H1-B rules can be changed either by an executive order (issued by the President) or by the Congress and we are talking to both sides," she said.

earlier raised the issue with Tillerson at a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session last month.

She also red-flagged it this month at a meeting with a visiting Congressional delegation from the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

First Published: Wed, October 25 2017. 16:03 IST
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