India calls for big increase in US IT visas
Tough negotiating stance?
India is calling on the US to massively increase the number of working visas available to foreign workers, including Indians. Currently the US grants 65,000 H1B visas a year, but the Indian government wants to increase this to 195,000. Microsoft boss Bill Gates has also called for restrictions to be lifted.
The Indian government has made a formal request to the World Trade Organisation. It originally asked for unlimited visas for technical staff on temporary contracts. The Indian government also called for an end to restrictions on medical services.
H1B visas are granted to teachers, lawyers and healthcare workers as well as techies.
The call comes at a crucial stage in negotiations held by the WTO. Countries are considering service industries as well as agriculture and manufacturing. Individual countries are in "request and offer" mode where they can ask for access to specific markets or show their enthusiasm for opening up parts of their own markets.
More details on indiatimes.com here.®