Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has "strongly raised" the H-1B visa issue with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, highlighting the important role played by highly skilled Indian professionals in America, officials said.
During the meeting in Washington DC – the first cabinet-level interaction between the two countries under the Trump administration – Ross said that the US has started the process of reviewing H-1B visas issues and no decision has been taken on it yet, according to sources.
Taking up the case of Indian IT companies and professionals, Jaitley told Ross about the contribution of highly skilled Indians in the economic development of the US and India, and stressed that they should continue to do so, which is in the best interest of the two countries, an Indian official said.
The US Commerce Secretary is understood to have said that whatever the outcome of the review process, the Trump administration’s objective is to have a merit-based immigration policy that gives preference to highly skilled professionals.
The executive order signed by Trump early this week calls for a review of H-1B visas by the departments of State, Labour, Homeland Security and Justice.
Jaitley, leading an Indian delegation, arrived in Washington DC yesterday morning to attend the annual Spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.