No change in H-1B visa policy: US official

Ahead of next week’s highly anticipated 2+2 dialogue between India and the US, a senior official in the Trump administration has said there was no change in the US’ H-1B visa policy.

The policy is currently undergoing a review to ensure it does not disadvantage US workers or wages. The Trump administration wanted to bring in reforms as it believes some companies were abusing US work visas to deny jobs to American workers.

The H-1B visa allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries such as India and China.

India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj recently said she would take up the issue with the White House as well as with US Congressmen. “We will raise it humbly at the 2+2 dialogue on September 6 in New Delhi,” she said.

Speaking to news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) on the condition of anonymity, the senior official of the administration said: “The Trump Administration’s executive order has called for a broad review of the US worker visa programme known as H-1B in the interest of ensuring that they are administered in a way that doesn’t disadvantage US workers or wages.

“But there has been no change to the processing of H-1B visas. So it’s really impossible for me to speculate on the outcome and any possible changes to the system. It is obviously an issue that is important to India,” the official added.