H-1B visa requests will continue to pour even at double fees, says US consular officer
It was in December 2015 that the US government had doubled the fee for
As per experts, this move will strain the Indian IT industry by about $400 million
However, Minister-Counsellor for Consular Affairs at the US Embassy has said that the hike will not impact the number of applications or business transactions.
"India is a jewel crown in the H-1B visa category. Something like 70% of all the H1B visas in the world go to Indian companies while 30% of L1 visas (for intra-company transfers, the fees for which was raised to $4,500) go to Indian companies. The (hike) is not about India. It's a worldwide fee. The fact that more Indians happen to use that visa category is why they feel it more. It has not impacted H1B or L1 applications at all," Pomper said. "That is simply the cost of doing business."
India's IT outsourcing industry stands at $146-billion, and has been a beneficiary of the temporary US work visas that skilled foreign workers require in the US.
Pomper also said that one doesn’t need to be concerned about Republican presidential candidate Donald J Trump’s comment that H-1B visas "decimate American workers." He added that it’s the US Congress that regulates the visa and immigration law, stressing that it’s not necessary that something said in the heat of the campaign would be translated into action.
India presently has five US consulates in India, in New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, and even though there are no plans to set up more in the country, it’s a fact that these five are unable to handle the demand. Pomper cited this as the reason why the waiting period for visa appointments could go up to a month this summer.
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