US-India business body against H1-B visa policy change

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Amid reports of the United States administration’s plans to introduce stricter norms for issuance of H1-B visas, which are largely availed by Indian IT firms, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) has voiced its opposition to the move.

“It would tremendously be a bad policy to tell highly skilled individuals who are applying for permanent residency and have been working in the US for several years that they are no longer welcome,” a USIBC spokesperson said in a statement.

“This policy would harm American business, our economy, and the country,” the spokesperson said. “Further, it is inconsistent with the goals of a more merit-based immigration system.”

Last month, the U.S-.based news agency McClatchey’s DC Bureau reported that the Department of Homeland Security is considering new regulations that would prevent H-1B visa extensions. The measure potentially could stop hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from keeping their H-1B visas while their green card applications are pending.

According to the report, the proposal is part of President Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative promised during the 2016 campaign.

The act, under its current form, allows the administration to extend the H-1B visas for thousands of immigrants, predominantly Indian immigrants, beyond the allowed two three-year terms if a green card is pending.

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