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QUESTION NO.1622 RESTRICTION OF H-1B AND L-1 VISAS

March 16, 2017

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1622
TO BE ANSWERED ON 16.03.2017

RESTRICTION OF H-1B AND L-1 VISAS

1622. SHRIMATI JAYA BACHCHAN:
SHRI ANAND SHARMA:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether Government is aware of the introduction of a Bill in the US House of Representatives which proposes to restrict H-1B and L-1 Visas by linking it to skill and wages;

(b) if so, the details thereof; and

(c) if so, the details of steps taken by Government to safeguard the interest of IT companies and professionals?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) & (b) In the current (115th) Congress, four Bills relating to H-1B and L-1 visa have been introduced by individual congressmen and senators. Of these, three Bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives. The details of these Bills are given below:

i. The "Protect and Grow American Jobs Act” Bill introduced by Congressman Darrell Issa on 5th January 2017.

ii. The "High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017” Bill introduced by US Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren on 24th January 2017.

iii. The "H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017” introduced by Congressmen Bill Pascrell Jr. on 2nd March 2017.

In addition, another Bill "H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017” has been introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin on 20th January 2017 in the Senate.

These Bills seek to amend the various provisions relating to the grant of H-1B and L-1 visas. They will need to go through the full Congressional process before becoming effective.

(c) The Government of India has been engaging with the U.S. Administration and the U.S. Congress at senior levels on this issue. The Government has emphasized that Indian skilled professionals have contributed to the growth and development of the U.S. economy and have helped the U.S. retain its competitive edge and innovation advantage. They are a big stakeholder in India-U.S. relations and their backward linkages to India have helped U.S. businesses.

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