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MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava (Photo: ANI)
MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava (Photo: ANI)

Assessing impact of US decision on blocking H-1B visas: MEA

People-to-people linkages and trade and economic cooperation, especially in technology and innovation sectors, are an important dimension of the US-India partnership, said Indian foreign ministry spokesman

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday said it was assessing the impact of an order issued by US president Donald Trump earlier this week to temporarily suspend H-1B and other work visas, popular among Indian IT engineers, till the end of the year.

The Trump administration said the move was aimed to reform the immigration system to prioritise the highest-skilled workers and protect American jobs in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. A statement from the White House said that the administration also intends to close loopholes that have allowed employers in the US to replace American workers with low-cost foreign labour. Protecting American livelihoods and ensuring jobs for Americans has been one of the signature themes of the current administration and is expected to again become a key poll plank for Trump in the upcoming November elections.

In its comments, the Indian foreign ministry said the order would likely “affect movement of Indian skilled professionals who avail of these non-immigrant visa programmes to work lawfully in the US."

“People-to-people linkages and trade and economic cooperation, especially in technology and innovation sectors, are an important dimension of the U.S.-India partnership," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said.

“High-skilled Indian professionals bring important skill sets, bridge technological gaps and impart a competitive edge to the US economy. They have also been a critical component of the workforce that is at the forefront of providing Covid-19 related assistance in key sectors, including health, information technology and financial services," Srivastava said.

“The US has always welcomed talent and we hope our professionals will continue to be welcomed in US in the future," he added.

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