India moves to WTO against US on temporary working visa issue

India has filed a complaint against the United States decision to impose high fees L-1 and H-1B categories of temporary working visas in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

US had imposed fees on certain applicants for L-1 and H-1B categories of non-immigrant temporary working visas into the country,

According to India

  • US measure is inconsistent with the global norms and it would impact Indian IT professionals as it makes Indian IT companies less competitive in that market.
  • These measures appear to be “inconsistent” with the terms, limitations and conditions agreed under the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services).

Background

  • Earlier in 2015, US President Barack Obama had signed into law of spending package which had introduced a hefty $4,000 fee for certain categories of H-1B visa and $4,500 for L1 visa.
  • Under this law, companies having more than 50 employees and having more than 50 per cent of their US employees on H-1B and L1 visas were forced pay the new fee from April 1, 2016.
  • H-1B and L1 visas are temporary work visas for skilled IT professionals to work in US and India is the largest user of both H1B and L1 visas.

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Categories: India Current Affairs 2017

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