19 October 2010

Obama aide meets Indian PM to discuss US Visa concerns

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US President Barack Obama’s economic advisor met with the Indian Prime Minister yesterday to allay concerns over US immigration changes.

US Visa

Concerns about US visas and outsourcing rules for Indian IT companies are high on the agenda in New Delhi.

Lawrence Summers talked with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the curbs on outsourcing and the increase in the US Visa application fee that is set to hit the Indian IT industry dramatically as well as discussing a host of economic issues that could figure in discussions between the two countries during Obama's visit next month. 

The visit next month by Obama, expected to be on November 5 and 6, is an important one for the two countries particularly in regards to trade discussions as India expects that the US will loosen up restrictions on high-tech trade.

Mr Summers sought to allay India's concerns over the recent hike in H-1B and L1 visa fees, which will hit Indian IT companies with an extra cost of $200 million a year, and talked about economic ties and shared ideas for strengthening bilateral trade and investment between the two countries.

Summers said: "In the end, protectionism makes people poor, makes nations more hostile to one another, reduces opportunities for businesses and for workers."

Recently, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said that during Obama's visit, India will convey the concerns expressed by India's IT industry about outsourcing and the tightening of visa rules by the US.

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