US suspends expedited processing of H-1B visas; India concerned

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Trump H1 B Visa row
Trump H1 B Visa row

Los Angeles : US President Donald Trump has tightened noose around H1B plans for Indians by temporarily suspending the expedited premium processing of visas by calling it an overloaded guest worker program. 

The suspension comes on the heels of New Delhi’s failing efforts of creating a fair and rational approach for Indian companies operating abroad. 

However, the companies will have to pay an additional $1,225 premium to process their H-1B applications within 15 days when the standard procedure takes atleast three to six months. 

The decision was announced on Friday just hours after India’s Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar and Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia got into a dialogue with Trump administration to ease policies on H1-B visa issue.

In a briefing, Jaishankar said, "If the Trump Administration's intention is to bring back American companies to the United States and attract more foreign investment in America, then it is important America remains competitive. So, there would actually be (a) growing need for this partnership." 

The suspension which is likely to last upto six months applies to H1-B petition requests after April 3, 2017.

Notably, there are three times as many petitions as the 85,000 H1B visa limit, and companies use the expedited process to keep the wheels of commerce turning. More than half the applications come from India.