US Inc flays the move to raise visa fee

CIOL Bureau
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WASHINGTON, USA: The decision of the US to increase visa processing fee for IT professionals to fund the border security measures has invited the wrath of American corporate sector, which said the bill approved by the Senate is "discriminatory" against foreign companies and would undermine investment relations with India.


"This legislation seeks to raise revenue for broader border security by taxing mostly Indian companies that are investing heavily in our country," the US-India Business Council (USIBC) president, Ron Somers, said. “It is unfortunate that the Congress passed a bill that not only links India to border security with Mexico, but also does not take into account the terrible economic impact this will have for the United States.”

The organization also urged the Congress and the Obama Administration to amend this new funding method for border security and any policies that would harm America’s economic interest and undermine the burgeoning economic, trade and strategic relationship with India.

Expressing outrage over a US Senator calling Indian IT major Infosys a "chop shop", it said, “It is totally outrageous in this day in age, when the world is so interconnected by the Internet, that draconian measures would be floated by the U.S. Congress that tarbrushes Indian companies as 'chop shops'.”.


Somers said value addition is being provided by Indian companies 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for U.S. companies, complimenting the value being generated by the American workforce.

According to the organization, the Bill imposes substantial and discriminatory fee increases on global information services companies that utilize temporary, non-immigrant visas (H-1 and L-1) to bring in skilled professionals to serve U.S. companies. The value and expertise American companies receive from these services firms strengthen their global competitiveness and help to fuel innovation at home. Moreover, many companies, confronted with higher costs due to the legislation, will be incentivized to move more jobs and businesses offshore.

The U.S.-India Business Council, formed in 1975 at the request of the Government of India and the U.S. Government to advance commercial ties between the world's two largest free-market democracies, is hosted under the aegis of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.