H-1B visa issue: Arun Jaitley takes up the matter with US Commerce Secretary

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

New Delhi, April 21: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has “strongly raised” the H-1B visa issue with American  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, highlighting the important role played by highly skilled Indian professionals in America, officials said.

American  President Donald Trump, earlier this week, signed an executive order ordering a review of the policy by the departments of State, Justice, Labor and Homeland Security.

The meeting between Mr Jaitley and Mr Ross holds significance as the first Cabinet-level interaction between the two nations under the Donald Trump Administration.
During the meeting in Washington, DC — the first cabinet-level interaction between the two countries under the Trump administration — Ross is believed to have said that US has started the process of reviewing H1B visas issues and no decision has been taken on it yet, sources said.

Taking up the case of Indian IT companies and professionals, Jaitley told Ross about the contribution of highly skilled Indians in the economic development of the United States and India and stressed that they should continue to do so, which is in the best interest of the two countries, an Indian official said.

Ross is understood to have said that whatever the outcome of the review process, the Trump administration’s objective is to have a merit-based immigration policy that gives preference to highly skilled professionals.

The executive order signed by Trump early this week calls for a review of H-1B visas by the departments of State, Labour, Homeland Security and Justice.

Leading an Indian delegation to attend the annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, Arun Jaitley is also expected to meet finance ministers from United States, France, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.