United States has issued assurance to nations that make it mandatory for foreign companies to store data locally that the US will not impose caps on the H-1B work visas for them as Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, prepares to visit India next week.
A background briefing held ahead of Pompeo's visit to India scheduled for next week was the opportunity taken by a senior state official to issue the much-needed assurance. The official said he expects the Secretary to assure Indian government that they, as part of countries that ensure companies from abroad store data locally, would not be affected by any proposed cap on the H-1B work visa. He clarified that US discussion with India, which is to ensure better trade, has nothing to do with the broad review H-1B visa program is going through.
The State Department official said US-India relationship is a very important one to the US. The US economy has enjoyed great dividends of Indians entering the country via the H-1B program.
Some recent regulations in India mandate financial services companies to store data locally, that is within India, which led to speculations in the media that the US will make its own move by capping H-1B visas announced to Indians at 15 percent. Hence, this assurance is a much-needed development if the relations between the two countries will remain great.
About two-thirds of H-1B visa current recipients are Indians. The non-immigrant visa gives US employers the opportunity of recruiting foreign workers in specific occupations where technical or theoretical expertise is required.
The countries will also hope that Pompeo's visit will advance their strategic and trade relations as they both show commitment to an open Indo-Pacific region.
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