KOLKATA: Amid the H1B visa row in India, the US government on Friday said there has been no change in law regarding the H1B regime and the system continued to be as before.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for State for South Asia Thomas Vajda said no legislation has been passed so far on the particular category of visa.
“(There is) no change in the law today for H1B (visa) regime or system in the United States… President (Donald) Trump asked for review of the H1B system…but no steps have been taken. Many changes in law, so many cases, require changes of legislation. But so far no legislation has been passed on H1B. For the moment, the system remains as it has in the past,” Mr Vajda told reporters after an interactive session with members of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Following President Trump’s election as US president on a protectionist platform, the US has announced stricter norms for issuing the H1B and L1 visas.
India’s Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said in October that the issue of H1B and L1 visas, which have facilitated the entry of Indian IT professionals, has been raised strongly with Washington.
Responding to a query regarding reducing pet coke imports from the US, Mr Vajda said the US sees energy as the most potential area for increasing economic activities.
“The US is committed to increase energy export and support for India’s economic development,” he said.
Mr Vajda said both the governments of India and the US have been hopeful and supportive for completion of contract between the Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India to build six nuclear reactors in India.
On the Rohingya refugee crisis, he said the US has been providing financial support for humanitarian purposes to the Bangladesh government through international organisations to help out over 600,000 Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August.
“We also continue to urge the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh to have conversations and discussions that will facilitate the safe, voluntary and dignified return of Rohingyas to Myanmar,” he added.