US keen on visa policy amendments: John Kerry

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John Kerry-Sushma Swaraj
Washington, Aug 1: Following the concerns raised by the Indian government, pertaining to the stringency in the US visa policy, US secretary of state John Kerry assured that USA is keen to make amendments.

Indian ministries rue that the given policies will affect the IT companies that are functioning from the US.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, after attending the India-US strategic meeting with Kerry said,"We are not against the (immigration) Bill per se. Immigration is your internal matter. But we certainly have concerns with the provisions that will affect the Indian IT industry if the Bill is passed in the present form. I told Secretary Kerry it would give a very negative signal and that, too, at a time when India is opening up its economy for foreign players."

The BIll aims to double the cost of H1-B professional visas, restricting the companies to send workers in USA.

Expressing Obama's will to make changes in the policy, Kerry said,"The House has not taken it up yet and it really appears that it won't, certainly, before the elections, which is in three months. The way it (draft immigration Bill) left the Senate leaves that it is in need of some amending...The US administration, President (Barack) Obama would support some changes that would deal with some of the issues (India's concerns) and other issues."

Internal sources say that the matter was also taken up by the MoS of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman with US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on Thursday.

The Indian IT industry has heaved a sigh of relief, following Kerry's assuarance. Nasscom President R Chandra-shekhar, as reported by the Business Standard, said, "We welcome the comment from US Secretary of State John Kerry that the US government will likely tweak some aspects of the US immigration Bill."

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