India is in touch with US, Australia regarding visa policy changes: MEA Gopal Baglay
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 20-Apr-2017

New Delhi, April 20: After US administration made changes over H1B1 visa and Australia announced scrapping 459 visa scheme, Indian spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs Gopal Baglay said that India was in touch with the US and Australian governments regarding the changes being made in respective visa categories.

Today, India assured that it was in touch with the US administration over the changes being made to the H1B visa and also that Australia is planning to replace its skilled worker programs with another one.

There have been heightened concerns in India over the Trump administration's plans to bring about changes in the H1B visa regime which will affect thousands of Indians. Also, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, announcing the scrapping of a visa programme, popular with Indians, just days after his India visit had raised concerns and questions over the government’s role.

EMA Gopal Baglay said that “The government is in touch with the governments of the United States and Australia on these matters and is also making full assessment of impact of these recent changes, in consultation with all stakeholders,” he said.

“Insofar as H1-B visas are concerned, the cap has remained at 65,000 since December 2004 when the H1-B Visa Reform Act of 2004 was enacted by the US Congress,” he said.

With reference to Australia replacing its popular 457 work visa programme with another, he said senior Australian officials had conveyed to India that “the impact of the changes will be negligible on Indian workers, most of who fall in high-skill category”.

The changes in the visa programmes in both these countries are a matter of great concern for India. The highest number of people coming to the US on H1B are Indians and the 457 Australian visa programme was also used by a great number of Indians to get work in Australia.