H1B visa issue: India, US look for ?workable solution?

The visa row between India and the United States may soon find a workable solution. The good part is that despite this being an election year in the US, where unemployment rates are peaking, a compromise formula is being worked out between the two countries to make both sides happy.

Talks are on between the two sides on the eve of Hillary Clinton’s visit to India.

Under the proposal Indian companies operating in the US will have to make employment guarantees to hire a certain number of workers in the US.

In return they would find more relaxed visa norms for their Indian employees whom they need to ship to the US for specific work there. The latter will be on a case-by-case basis with no official changes being announced in current US visa policy.

“At the end of the day it comes down to how much Indian companies are actually doing here. If you see the bottom line, they are adding jobs here. Even outsourcing has a positive impact on US. We see this more as rhetoric – but it is a major irritant too – which is a matter of concern,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of CII.

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Recently US lawmakers have accused Indian companies, including Infosys of circumventing the drop in H1B visas issued to them by using short-term non-employment B1 visas for Indian employees. The IT industry on its part says it has already begun hiring in the US in a big way.

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Keen that the current visa issue between the US and India doesn’t take on a protectionist stance or tone within the US administration, India Inc is willing to look at somewhat of a quid-pro-quo formula. One that goes to the extent of assuring job creation here in the United States.

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