20 September 2010

Indian Commerce Minister to address issue of US Visa fee increase

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Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has announced he will raise issues about the outsourcing ban and US Visa fee increase when he meets with US officials and lawmakers during his visit to Chicago and Washington later this month.

US Visa

The Indian Commerce Minister will address the US Visa application fee increase during a visit to the US later this month.

Minister Sharma is scheduled to meet US Trade Representative Ron Kirk as well as top business heads in the US during his three day visit.

The recent increase in US Visa application fees is estimated to put an additional burden of $250 million annually on Indian IT firms operating in the US – a move that the Indian Government has called counterproductive in a global economy.

The US government has increased the US Visa fee by $2,000 for certain H-1B visas and $2,250 for L-1A and L-1B visas.

In another blow to Indian firms operating in the US, the state of Ohio has recently banned offshore outsourcing by government departments.

The Indian commerce minister has called the move "regressive" and one that would prove counterproductive and might affect the recovery of the global economy.

Minister Sharma will visit Chicago on September 20 to deliver a keynote address on "Seizing the US-India Trade Opportunities" at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He will also attend a luncheon session with select chief executives.

US President Barack Obama is due to visit India in November.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their US Visa and immigration applications to the American Embassy.

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