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High U.S. visa fees affecting Indian professionals
High U.S. visa fees affecting Indian professionals
Posted Date:03-02-2011 Courtesy:
NEW DELHI: Demanding relaxation in the U.S visa regime , an industry chamber today said the recent hike in professional visa fees by the Obama administration is hurting interests of Indians who want to do business there.

"Today, a lot of Indians wanting to set a shop in the US face difficulties. Visas are being used as non-tariff barriers," said Gautam Mahajan, National President of Indo - American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) here.

"There should be some professionalism in terms of looking at the needs of companies who've invested in the US," he added.

Under the Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010 -- popularly called the Border Security Bill -- the US had hiked fee for certain categories of H-1B and L1 visas by at least USD 2,000 for the next five years.

Businesses in India and the US had termed the hike as discriminatory and said this would undermine the growing Indo-U.S economic relationship, with which the Obama Administration does not agree.

On the issue of radio tagging involving Indian students in the US, Mahajan said, "... (it) is wrong."

After being duped by a California-based "sham" university, scores of Indian students in the US were forced to wear radio collars around their ankles so that authorities can keep a track of their movements.

Meanwhile, a two-day Indo-US Economic Summit would be held here from February 11.

"Our objective is to make the Summit a stock taking exercise of the traditional contours of cooperation and at the same time reach out to newer and potential areas that open up opportunities for scaling business operations," Summit Chairman Lalit Bhasin said.

He said the Summit, to be attended by a large number of delegates from the two countries, would be inaugurated by Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

India-U.S bilateral trade was USD 36.5 Billion in 2009-10.
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