Temporary suspension of H-1B visas will affect movement of Indian professionals: MEA

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 25, 2020

Govt assessing the impact of the order on Indian nationals, industry

The temporary suspension of foreign work visas by the US, including H-1B visas that are popular with the Indian IT industry, will affect the movement of Indian skilled professionals, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said.

The decision is likely to affect movement of Indian skilled professionals who avail of these non-immigrant visa programmes to work lawfully in the US, said Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson, MEA, in response to questions on the proclamation at a press conference on Thursday.

“We are assessing the impact of the order on Indian nationals and industry in consultation with stakeholders,” he said.

People-to-people linkages and trade and economic cooperation, especially in technology and innovation sectors, are an important dimension of the US-India partnership, the spokesperson added.

High-skilled Indian professionals bring important skill-sets, bridge technological gaps and impart a competitive edge to the US economy. They have also been a critical component of the workforce that is at the forefront of providing Covid-19 related assistance in key sectors, including health, information technology and financial services, Srivastava said.

The suspension of the non-immigrant visas is till December 31, 2020, but there are apprehensions amongst the industry that it may be extended beyond the period. The Indian government, however, seems to be optimistic.

“The US has always welcomed talent and we hope our professionals will continue to be welcomed in the US in the future,” Srivastava said.

The temporary suspension of visas was criticised by a number of US companies such as Google, Tesla, Apple and Amazon and apprehensions were raised that the move may hurt the US economy.

Published on June 25, 2020

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