Asserting that Indian IT professionals coming to America on H-1B visa are not illegal economic immigrants, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the US must decide appropriately while taking a decision on its visa policy.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations. It is the most sought after by Indian IT professionals.
"Those coming from India on H-1B visas are high-value professionals, who contribute immensely to the US economy. They are not illegal economic immigrants, about whom there is concerns in the US. They come here legally," Jaitley said.
Jaitley said he raised this issue in his meetings with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Indian IT professionals deserve a different treatment, said the minister who is here to attend the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
"We conveyed our concerns to the US," he said in response to a question.
"These are very high quality, highly trained professionals. They've contributed immensely to the US economy. They add value to the US economy. Therefore, when the US decides its visa policy they must decide it in relation to these people appropriately," Jaitley said.
Indian technology companies depend on the H-1B visas to hire tens of thousands of employees each year for their US operations. The US market accounts for about 60 per cent of the revenue of the Indian IT industry.