Trump Administration Has No Plans to Cap H-1b Work Visa Program: State DepartmentTop Stories

June 21, 2019 06:48
Trump Administration Has No Plans to Cap H-1b Work Visa Program: State Department

(Image source from: DNA India)

Days after Reuters reported that the United States is considering restricting the H-1B visa programs for the countries with the data storage requirement, the Trump administration in response said it has no plans to cap H-1B work visas for nations that force companies to store data locally, the State Department said on Thursday.

The H-1B program issues U.S. visas to skilled foreign workers.

"The Trump Administration has no plans to place caps on H-1B work visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally," a State Department spokeswoman said in a statement.

Related content: U.S. Mulls Caps on H-1B Visas to Deter Data Localization Rules: Report

While an administration's "Buy American Hire American" executive order calls for a broad review of U.S. worker visa programs, including the H-1B program, it was not targeted at a specific country, the spokeswoman said.

It is "completely separate from our ongoing discussions with India about the importance of ensuring the free flow of data across borders," the spokeswoman added.

Earlier on Thursday, India said it was in talks with the United States on H-1B visas, but foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told a news conference: "We have not heard anything officially from the U.S. government" on capping such permits for Indians.  

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit New Delhi next week for talks that will include areas of disagreement between the two countries over trade.

Two senior Indian officials told Reuters on Wednesday they had been briefed last week on a U.S. plan to cap the number of H-1B visas given every year to Indians at between 10 percent and 15 percent of the total number issued.

There are no country-specific limit on the 85,000 H-1B work visas the United States issues every year, and an estimated 70 percent of them go to Indians.

By Sowmya Sangam

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