Diplomacy

Assessing the Impact of US's Decision on Suspend H-1B Visas: MEA

Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said people-to-people linkages and economic cooperation are an important dimension of ties between the two countries.

New Delhi: India on Thursday said it was assessing the impact of the Donald Trump administration’s decision to block H-1B visas on Indian nationals and industry but indicated its dismay over it, saying that people-to-people linkages and economic cooperation are an important dimension of ties between the two countries.

In a huge blow to Indian IT professionals eyeing the US job market, the Trump administration suspended the most sought-after H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.

“This is likely to affect the movement of Indian skilled professionals who avail of these non-immigrant visa programmes to work lawfully in the US. We are assessing the impact of the order on Indian nationals and industry in consultation with stakeholders,” spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Anurag Srivastava said.

He was replying to a question on the issue at an online media briefing.

“People-to-people linkages and trade & economic cooperation, especially in technology and innovation sectors, are an important dimension of the US-India partnership,” he said.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. Photo: Indian Embassy

The decision by the Trump administration is going to impact a large number of Indian IT professionals and several American and Indian companies who were issued H-1B visas by the US government for the fiscal year 2021 beginning October 1.

Srivastava said high-skilled Indian professionals bring important skill sets, bridge technological gaps and impart a competitive edge to the US economy.

“They have also been a critical component of the workforce that is at the forefront of providing COVID-19 related assistance in key sectors, including health, information technology and financial services,” he said.

“The US has always welcomed talent and we hope our professionals will continue to be welcomed in the US in the future,” Srivastava said.