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India Addresses fee Increase in L-1 and H-1B Visas at WTO Headquarters

June 2016, 09
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On 13th May 2016, there were low key talks between India and USA at World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters regarding the increase of US H-1B and L-1 visa fees. The Indian Government lodged a complaint on 4th March 2016 with the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning the $4,000 increase of the H-1B visa and $4,500 addition in the L-1 visa fee.

Article 4 covers settlement of dispute where the US and India discussed about the clauses enforced non-immigrant visas for US. The visa fee legislation is willing to accept a legal challenge on discrimination against international workers by penalizing companies who don’t recruit enough local workers.

India says that the current measures (Public Law 114-113) doubled the previous fees (former Public Law 111-230) for applying for new visas and visa extensions. India firmly believes that these new measures are not in accordance with the US’s specific commitments under GATS.

The largest H-1B visa users are US corporations like Google and Microsoft Corp  and Indian companies like TCS, Wipro and Infosys, who will reap the benefits if the US complies with a few of India's demands.

US policies 'deny Indian IT enterprises favorable treatment' which implies favoring US companies over Indian firms violating GATS commitments.

Indian officials stated in these sessions, "These measures appear to nullify or impair the benefits accruing to India directly under GATS. The American measures on non-immigration visas are not in conformity with various GATS core provisions."

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