In a minor relief to H-1B visa aspirants, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is going to bring up the issue of the changing H-1B visa norms with the US. Sushma said that she would raise the issue at the 2+2 dialogue which is scheduled to happen on September 6 in New Delhi. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis will participate in the India-US 2+2 dialogue along with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
"We are already raising the issue formally at various fora. We are speaking on it with the White House, with state administration as well as with Congressmen... We will raise it humbly at the 2+2 dialogue on September 6 in New Delhi," Sushma Swaraj told Rajya Sabha.
The External Affairs Minister said that although there has been "no major change so far" in the H1B visa policy from the US side. "But yes, the apprehensions are there. The number of visas may be cut or the norms may be made stricter. But we are trying our best that this should not happen. I have raised it with my counterpart Rex Tillerson. The Finance Minister raised it with US Trade and Commerce Secretary and our Commerce Minister too raised it recently," she said.
Earlier in February 2018, the Trump administration came up with a new visa policy that makes the procedure for issuing H-1B visas tougher. As per the new policy, the hiring company would have to prove that its H-1B employee at a third-party worksite has specific and non-qualifying speculative assignments in specialty occupation. The number of H-1B visas has actually gone up from 1,08,000 in 2014 to 1,29,000 in 2018 which is a reason for the US to strict the visa norms.