UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2209
TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.03.2017
2209. SHRI CH. MALLA REDDY:
SHRI Y.V. SUBBA REDDY:
SHRI KODIKUNNIL SURESH:
SHRI ANTO ANTONY:
SHRI SULTAN AHMED:
SHRI ABHISHEK SINGH:
SHRI MUTHAMSETTI SRINIVASA RAO (AVANTHI):
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether the Prime Minister has raised the issue of H1-B Visa with the U.S. congressional delegation who visited India recently;
(b) if so, the details thereof and whether any assurance was given by the delegation since Bill on H1-B visa is under consideration in the U.S. congress and if so, the details thereof;
(c) the salient features of the Bill under consideration before congress on visa issue; and
(d) the details of measures taken by the Government to safeguard the interest of Indian IT companies and Indian workers in the U.S.?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]
(a) to (d) In the current (115th) Congress, the following four Bills relating to H-1B and L-1 visa programmes have been introduced by individual congressmen and senators.
i. The "Protect and Grow American Jobs Act” Bill introduced by Congressman Darrell Issa on 5 January 2017.
ii. The "H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017” Bill introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin on 20 January 2017.
iii. The "High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017” Bill introduced by US Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren on 24 January 2017.
iv. The "H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017” introduced by Congressmen Bill Pascrell Jr. on 2 March 2017.
These Bills seek to amend the various provisions relating to the grant of H-1B and L-1 visas. However, they will need to go through the full Congressional process before becoming effective.
In his meeting with the US Congressional Delegation on 21 February 2017, the Prime Minister referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society. He urged developing a reflective, balanced and farsighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals.
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.