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India studying implications of changes in US immigration laws

  • The adjustments made in the laws does not cover non-immigrant visa programmes like the H1B that are cornered by Indian IT workers
  • The order signed into law by Donald Trump is to last for 60 days after which it will be reviewed and possibly extended

NEW DELHI : India on Thursday said it had taken note of the changes in immigration laws introduced by the Trump administration in the US and was studying the implications of the changes made.

A person familiar with the development said that the adjustments made in the laws -- to temporarily block some foreigners from permanent residence in the United States to protect American workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic – does not cover non immigrant visa programmes like the H1B that are cornered by Indian IT workers.

“What we see is that it does not cover non immigrant visa programme like H1B," the person said adding that such provisions had contributed to innovation and the economy of both countries. It had also helped advance people to people ties as well, the person cited above said.

The order signed into law by US president Donald Trump earlier this week is to last for 60 days after which it will be reviewed and possibly extended, according to news reports. One news report quoting an US Department of Homeland Security official said that the order would only apply to people applying for permanent residence from outside the US not those already in the country seeking to adjust their status.

Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar spoke to his US counterpart Mike Pompeo on Thursday but it was unclear whether the subject was discussed by the two. Indian

On China asking India to relook at the changes New Delhi had made in its foreign direct investment laws last weekend to prevent any hostile takeovers of Indian companies by Chinese firms, the person said this was a “procedural change" and does not prohibit investment by any country.

“I don’t think there should be any concern regarding procedural changes as a result of a review of our extant policy because the changes, as such, do not prohibit investment from any country that shares land borders with India. It only envisages that FDI proposals are considered under the government approval route," the person said. The changes made by India should also be seen in the context of similar steps by other countries, the person added.

The comments follow China on Monday demanding that India revise its foreign direct investment norms that were changed over the weekend to prevent the takeover of Indian firms in a covid-19 pandemic ravaged economy as it accused New Delhi of discriminatory practices. Spokesperson for the Chinese embassy Ji Rong had criticised India for the move that she said was not in keeping with India’s World Trade Organisation and other multilateral commitments. “The barriers set by Indian side for investors from specific countries violate WTO’s principle of non-discrimination, and go against the general trend of liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment," spokeswoman Ji Rong said.

“More importantly, they do not conform to the consensus of G20 leaders and trade ministers to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open," she said referring to virtual meetings of the group in the wake of the pandemic.

“Companies make choices based on market principles. We hope India would revise relevant discriminatory practices, treat investments from different countries equally, and foster an open, fair and equitable business environment," Ji had added.

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