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H1B visa: Wipro’s Azim Premji meets IT minister over proposed curbs

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-03-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Wipro chairman Azim Premji on Thursday met IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad amid growing concerns over proposed changes in the H1B visa norms in the US.

“He was here to discuss visa and their involvement in domestic IT market,” an official source said after the meeting of Prasad and Premji. The minister told Premji that India has taken up this issue at senior level in the US administration, the source added.

In the past few weeks, there have been proposals to overhaul the popular H1B visa regime through various legislations, which have added to the worries of the Indian IT sector that is battling slower growth, currency fluctuation and cautious client spending.

Last week, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (US CIS) temporarily suspended premium processing of H1B visas — often used by Indian IT firms — that could lead to process delays.

Also Read: H1B visa programme faces onslaught of Congressional bills seeking reforms

The US administration, under President Donald Trump, has sought 60 days from an American appeals court to “consider” its response in a case challenging the previous government’s decision to allow spouses of H1B visa holders to work in the US. Such a move could put jobs of thousands of Indians at stake.

The US accounts for over 60% of the Indian IT export revenues.

For Wipro, the US contributes over 55 per cent to its revenues. The Indian government has been pressing for a fair and rational approach on the matter from a trade and business perspective.

Industry body Nasscom, too, had taken a delegation to Washington DC (27 February- 2 March ) to discuss issues like clampdown on work visas and flow of skilled manpower between the two nations.

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