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'Disproportionate' H-1B visa denial to India to be examined

Last updated on: January 18, 2012 14:05 IST

'Disproportionate' H-1B visa denial to India to be examined

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Lalit K Jha in Washington

A top American Senator, who visited New Delhi earlier this month, vowed to look into the "disproportionate number" of H-1B visa being denied from India, amid concerns over the increase in certain categories of visa fees.

Fresh from his India visit wherein both officials and corporate leaders expressed concern over the increase in certain categories of visa fees, Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, told a group of Washington-based Indian reporters that despite this fee hike there is an appetite for American visas in India.

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Image: There is an appetite for American visas in India.


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"On raising (visa) fee, we heard some concerns. I understand the Indian concerns. Sometime in the Congress we link things that may or may not be linked. But I think, there is still enormous appetite in India for visas even with a higher cost," Warner said during a conference.

Warner, who led a Congressional delegation to India from January 7 to 14, said there were concerns, particularly in Hyderabad, from some of the tech companies that recently "the number of H-1B visa denied from India have been higher percentage than other countries."

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Image: H-1B visas denied from India.


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He has committed to look into the "disproportionate number being turned down". He among others was accompanied by Senators Michael Bennet, Tom Udall and Congressmen Joseph Crowley and Cedric Richmond.

Crowley, co-chair of the House India Caucus, also addressed the teleconference with Indian reporters.

Warner said he has recently introduced legislation in the Senate taking a comprehensive look at this visa issue. It among other things, he said, lowers to threshold of dollar amount of an entrepreneur visa.

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Image: Disproportionate number being turned down.


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Secondly, it looks at the question of providing green card to those foreign nationals who graduate from a US university and wants to pursue a career path in the United States, he said.

"I have also been supportive of within the H-1B area to raise the caps...currently there are caps that particularly seem challenging to India and China, which is simply based on equal divisions by country regardless of size," Warner said.

He said given the appetite within those H-1B programmes "remove those caps, providing additional opportunities for Indian H-1Bs".

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Image: Visa woes.


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In December, Warner along with several of his Senate colleagues had introduced a bipartisan legislation that would update regulatory and tax policies to encourage entrepreneurs and innovators to launch new companies, creating jobs and broadening economic opportunities.

The Start-Up Act, introduced with Senator Jerry Moran, speeds-up the transfer of research and technology from university laboratories to the marketplace and modernizes tax policies to encourage longer-term investments of early-stage capital.

It also reforms visa requirements for foreign-born students earning advanced degrees from US colleges and starting companies based on science, technology, engineering and math; and examines federal policies to identify those regulations which discourage start-up businesses.


Image: India needs more H-1B visas.


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