Concerns on H-1B visa conveyed to US: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Concerns on H-1B visa conveyed to US: Ravi Shankar Prasad
H-1B visas are widely used by Indian IT majors.

The government has conveyed its concerns on the move to curb H-1B visa processing to senior officials in the US administration, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Tuesday.

Minister for electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Our concerns at a very senior level have already been conveyed to the government of USA. I would not like to get into the details except that Indian IT companies are giving good value addition to US companies.”

The minister was speaking on the sidelines of ICEGOV conference which was inaugurated on Tuesday. The three-day international conference on e-governance ‘ICEGOV 2017’ will discuss the role of technology in transforming relation between government and its citizens, businesses and civil society.

Indian IT companies are servicing more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. “They 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. They have created 400,000 jobs, not only in America but other parts of the world. Indian IT companies and professionals are giving lot of opening to American companies in India,” Prasad said.

Last week, the US said 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. 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).

H-1B visas are widely used by Indian IT majors. 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.

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


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