Govt has conveyed concerns on H-1B visa to the US: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018

Ravi Shankar Prasad

‘Indian IT companies are servicing more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies’

The government has conveyed its concerns at a ‘very senior level’ in the US administration on the move to curb H-1B visa processing, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & IT.

“I think our concerns at a very senior level have already been conveyed to the government of US. I would not like to get into the details except that Indian IT companies are giving good value addition to US companies,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

Speaking on the sidelines of International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV), Prasad said that the Indian IT companies are servicing more than 75 per cent of Fortune 500 companies.

Under the current system, companies submitting applications for H-1B visas for potential employees can pay an additional sum for expedited service, which is known as premium processing. The temporary suspension could last up to six months, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The H-1B visas are widely used by Indian IT companies.

“They (US) are making them more competitive and giving them extraordinary value addition. I am given to understand that they have paid around $20 billion tax revenue in last five years,” he said.

The Indian companies have created four-lakh jobs, not only in America but other parts of the world, Prasad said adding that the Indian IT companies and IT professionals are giving lot of opening to American companies in India too.

The US said last week that it will temporarily suspend premium processing of H-1B visas from April 3, eliminating the option of shorter waiting period for the programme that helps highly skilled foreigners work at American firms.

Premium processing costs an additional $1,225 and ensures a response from the USCIS within 15 days or the fee is refunded. Processing of standard H-1B applications takes between three and six months.

Support for research

Prasad also said that the whole IT movement in the world is based on sharing and reciprocity. He announced that under the government’s programme of supporting PhD scholars in digital technologies, India will offer PhD scholars from other countries in 100 leading universities of India including IITs and IISc.

“We invite research scholars to explore doing their research in India and be part of Digital India programme,” he added.

On recent reports of misuse of Aadhaar data, Prasad said that the unique ID is ‘completely safe and secure’ and that some people were trying to play mischief in a ‘sponsored manner’ against whom, police have taken action.

Published on March 07, 2017

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