FM Raises Visa Is­sue with US Of­fi­cials

Meets Mnuchin and Ross to dis­cuss trade and in­vest­ment, seeks ap­pre­ci­a­tion of techies’ con­tri­bu­tion to US econ­omy

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More - Press Trust of In­dia

Wash­ing­ton: Fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley has raised the is­sue of re­forms in the H-1B and L1 visa pro­cesses dur­ing his talks with US trea­sury and com­merce sec­re­taries and asked them to ap­pre­ci­ate the con­tri­bu­tions of In­dian pro­fes­sion­als to the US econ­omy.

Jait­ley, who is in the US on a week-long tour, held bi­lat­eral meet­ings with his US coun­ter­part and trea­sury sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin and US com­merce sec­re­tary Wil­bur Ross and dis­cussed Indo-US Eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, in par­tic­u­lar, how bi­lat­eral trade and in­vest­ment can be im­proved be­tween the two coun­tries.

The fi­nance min­is­ter high­ligh- ted the struc­tural re­forms In­dia has un­der­taken through a se­ries of bold mea­sures, in­clud­ing the Goods and Ser­vice Tax (GST), fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion and ac­tion against the shadow econ­omy, an of­fi­cial state­ment said.

He also high­lighted the con­tri­bu­tions skilled In­dian pro­fes­sion­als have made to the US econ­omy, and that this must be suit­ably ap­pre­ci­ated by the US side, it said. He made a strong case for re­forms in H1B/L1 visa pro­cesses and so­cial se­cu­rity con­tri­bu­tion so that high cal­i­bre In­dian pro­fes­sion­als serv­ing Amer­i­can in­ter­est are not un­fairly de­prived of their well-earned money, the state­ment said. The H1B visa is a non-im­mi­grant visa that al­lows US com­pa­nies to em­ploy for­eign work­ers in spe­cial­ity oc­cu­pa­tions. It is the most sought af­ter by In­dian IT pro­fes­sion­als.

The L-1 visa fa­cil­i­tates the tem­po­rary trans­fer of for­eign worker in the man­age­rial, ex­ec­u­tive

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or spe­cialised knowl­edge cat­e­gory to the US to con­tinue em­ploy­ment with an of­fice of the same em­ployer, its par­ent, branch, sub­sidiary or af­fil­i­ate.

Dur­ing his elec­tion cam­paign, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump had promised to in­crease over­sight of our H-1B and L-1 visa pro­grammes.

Ear­lier, the sec­re­tary, de­part- ment of eco­nomic af­fairs (DEA), min­istry of fi­nance, Sub­hash Chan­dra Garg de­liv­ered a key­note ad­dress on mi­cro pen­sion where he high­lighted the big chal­lenge of con­vinc­ing pol­i­cy­mak­ers and the po­ten­tial young per­sons need­ing pen­sion af­ter their ac­tive life.

He ap­pre­ci­ated the ef­forts of or­gan­is­ers in bring­ing a well-re­searched book as coun­try and the­matic re­forms ac­tion needed to re­alise the dream of pro­vid­ing pen­sions to over1.2 bil­lion peo­ple world-wide.

Sec­re­tary (DEA) also met with the CEO, World Bank; CEO, Global In­fra­struc­ture Hub and the ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and CEO, MIGA be­sides the In­dia World Bank team led by vice pres­i­dent South Asia.

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