H-1B Visa Issue 'Not Discussed' at PM's Meeting with US Tech Giants
The contentious H-1B visa issue did not come up for discussion during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with CEOs of top 20 American companies, including Apple and Google, on Sunday.
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Reuters)
New Delhi/Washington: The contentious H-1B visa issue did not come up for discussion during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with CEOs of top 20 American companies, including Apple and Google, on Sunday.
In the round table interaction with the group that included Tim Cook of Apple, Sunder Pichai from Google and Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Modi spoke about the reforms undertaken by his government and invited the business leaders to invest in India, saying the implementation of GST next month would make the country a more investment-friendly destination. He added that India attracted the largest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) as a result of the NDA government's policies in the last three years.
Replying to a question after the interaction, US-India Business Council (USIBC) president Mukesh Aghi said the H-1B visa issue was not discussed at the meeting.
The H-1B visa issue is also not on agenda when Modi holds his first bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday. The Trump administration, however, has said that if the Indian side raises the contentious visa issue, the Americans were ready to respond.
"On the (H-1B) visas issue, there's no plans for that to come up specifically," a senior administration official had told reporters ahead of the Modi-Trump meeting. But if raised by the Indian side, the Americans are ready for it, the official said.
"But if it's raised, I would just note that the administration has signed some executive orders related to work and immigration, and President Trump's executive order on H1-B visas of course directs the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security to propose potential reforms to the H1B visa program," the official said.
The Modi-Trump meeting comes amid growing concerns in India over the crackdown on H-1B visas, the most sought-after by Indian IT professionals.
Trump signed an executive order in April for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa programme to stop "visa abuses". Trump said his administration is going to enforce 'Hire American' rules that are designed to protect jobs and wages of workers in the US.
The executive order also called upon the Departments of Labour, Justice, Homeland Security, and the state to take action against fraud and abuse of the US' visa programmes.
(With PTI inputs)
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