US to observe the impact of visa fee hike on Indian firms

US-worker-visa-feeThe United States, which has hiked its US worker visa fee on Indian companies, has said that it is observing the impact of the hike on Indian firms.

State Department spokesman Phillip J Crowley expressed that the officials are ‘trying to understand the potential impact on Indian companies’ but no next step has been taken to address the concerns.

The new law signed by President Barack Obama aims to raise $600 million to secure the US Mexico border. The Indian firms will have to pay additional $250 million every year for visa for its workers going to US on H-1B and L1 visas.

The law increases the fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions. The new law came into effect on August 14 and the rates will rain in effect till September 30, 2014, as per the States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The additional fee will apply to those firms who employ 50 or more employees in the US with more than 50 percent of its employees in the country in H-1B or L.

The Indian government has protested the move and said that the law is discriminatory and will affect Indian companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies, Wipro and Mahindra Satyam. The US-India Business Council too has said that it will affect economic ties between the two countries.

The Indian officials may also raise the issue with the World Trade Organisation calling it discriminatory and an unfair trade practice.