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Cap on H1B visas to not impact India

By BS Reporter in Kolkata
March 09, 2009 11:05 IST
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The cap on H1B visas will not have much of an impact on India, said Beth Payne, US Consul General in Kolkata, allaying fears that there would be a significant reduction in the number of H1B visas.

Speaking on the sidelines of an interactive seminar on women empowerment organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Beth Payne, consul general, consulate general of the United States of America said, "Although we cannot predict the number, there has always been a cap on the H1B visas. The number of petitions filed every year are always more than number of H1B visas we can issue because of which we had to introduce the lottery system. I don't see any major impact on India because of the restriction."

In 2008, a lottery was conducted because the US Citizenship and Immigration Services received about 163,000 petitions including 31,200 against the US advanced degree category in the first five days of filing.

According to the data released by USCIS top Indian IT companies account for the largest chunk of the H-1B work visas. Around 65,000 H-1B visas were issued by USCIS to immigrants from companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, TCS, Infosys and Wipro last year.

Each H-1B visa costs around $6,000.

Indian professionals and top IT chiefs had earlier asked the US Congress and the Obama administration to remove the cap on H-1B visas, which enable foreign nationals to live and work in the US.
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BS Reporter in Kolkata
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