India to move WTO against `discriminatory’ US visa fee hike
21 May 2012
India will move the World Trade Organisation (WTO) seeking consultations with the United States over the latter's ''discriminatory'' visa policies that aim to bar Indian companies, reports quoting commerce ministry sources said today.
India will file a formal complaint with the WTO against the US visa fee hike for software professionals, which it feels is discriminatory to Indian companies that utilises services of employees on short-term contracts.
The visa fee hike is hurting Indian software companies like Infosys, Wipro and Mahindra Satyam, which utilise the services of their Indian employees through short-term assignments in the US.
"We have finalised our case. The US visa fee hike is discriminatory move against Indian IT firms. This week, we will formally file the complaint and seek consultations under WTO," a Wall Street Journal report quoted a senior commerce and industry ministry official as saying.
The US says the visa fee hike of 2010 was to fund its enhanced costs on securing border with Mexico under the Border Security Act.
The US had, under the `Emergency Border Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2010' substantially increased the fees for H-1B and L-1 category visas for applicants that employ more than 50 employees in the US or have more than 50 per cent of their employees admitted or non-immigrant visas (the "50/50 rule").