NATIONAL

Centre sees a thaw on H-1B

India’s concerns:External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.PTIPTI

India’s concerns:External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.PTIPTI  

Sushma says Trump has acknowledged the contributions of Indian skilled workers

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said that during his recent visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi succeeded in making President Donald Trump recognise the contributions of Indian skilled professionals to the American economy.

Responding to a question of V. Maitreyan in the Rajya Sabha on whether the H-1B visa issue was taken up, Ms. Swaraj said though it was not mentioned specifically, Mr. Modi had an extensive discussion with President Trump on the spirit behind the visa.

The External Affairs Minister cited the joint statement through which, she said, President Trump applauded “the entrepreneurship and innovation of Indians and Indian-Americans that have directly benefited both the nations”.

Ms. Swaraj said if the United States took any decision adversely impacting Indian professionals, such a move would eventually hurt its own interests.

Closely engaged

In a written reply on the same issue, the government said it remained closely engaged with the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Administration on issues relating to mobility of Indian skilled professionals, including through the H-1B visa programme.

The response also quoted the joint statement of Mr. Modi and Mr. Trump, which noted that: “recognising that we are in an increasingly digital world, the leaders agreed to intensify the mutually beneficial partnership to fully harness their innovation capabilities to solve global development changes.”

In the current U.S. Congress, six Bills relating to H-1B and L-1 visa programmes have been introduced by individual congressmen and senators. However, none of them has so far been passed and no comprehensive policy changes have been made.

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