International

India takes on U.S. at WTO over visa rules

Due to an increase in temporary visas by the U.S., some Indians receive unfair treatment compared with Americans in the United States in providing similar services in sectors like computer services. File picture shows people waiting outside the US Consulate in Chennai.

Due to an increase in temporary visas by the U.S., some Indians receive unfair treatment compared with Americans in the United States in providing similar services in sectors like computer services. File picture shows people waiting outside the US Consulate in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: V_GANESAN

Complains against an increase in fees for temporary work visas, affecting Indian workers.

India has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organisation against the United States over its measures raising fees on some applicants for temporary work visas, mostly involving the tech sector.

The Geneva-based body said Friday that India has notified it has started dispute proceedings alleging the U.S. measures are not consistent with Washington’s commitments to accept services from other countries.

Unfair treatment

In its request for consultation, India alleges the U.S. had increased fees for temporary visas in December, officials said. It argues that as a result, some Indians receive unfair treatment compared with Americans in the United States in providing similar services in sectors like computer services.

>Also read: U.S. visa fee increase will not impact Indian IT: Narayana Murthy

India in effect is seeking consultations with the U.S. The WTO will make further information available in coming days.

Andrew Bates, spokesperson for the U.S. trade representative, confirmed the U.S. had received the request for consultations.

U.S. response

“We are confident that the United States’ visa program, which was recently updated on a bipartisan basis by Congress, is fully consistent with our WTO obligations,” he said.

The Indian move is unusual at the WTO, where most disputes involve goods, tariffs and restrictions, not services.

Last summer, the WTO upheld a ruling that India was unfairly blocking imports of U.S. poultry and eggs, which the Obama administration called a major victory that could expand export opportunities for American farmers.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 7:46:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/india-takes-on-us-at-wto-over-visa-rules/article8314860.ece

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