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US to ease L-1B visas In boost to Indian companies

Posted on March 26, 2015
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WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama pledged on Tuesday to ease the process of obtaining L1-B visas which foreign companies use to rotate workers in their US operations, saying that while this could benefit hundreds of thousands of non immigrant workers and their employers, it will in turn benefit the entire American economy and spur additional investment.

“I’m pleased to announce a new action I’m also taking to make it easier for global companies who are present here today to launch and invest in the US. My administration is going to reform the L-1B visa category, which allows corporations to temporarily move workers from a foreign office to a US. office in a faster, simpler way,” Obama announced at a Select USA Investment summit, days after reports that India had been singled out for discrimination in the L1 visa category.

Data released recently by the Virginia-based National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) showed that 56% of the L-1B visa petitions from India were rejected in the period 2012-2014, compared with an average denial rate of 13% for all other countries combined. L1-visa petitions from China and Mexico had half the rejection rate of Indian companies.

Obama however made it clear that the reform was aimed at boosting foreign investment in the US, rather than merely allowing foreign companies to rotate workers to boost their own margins, something US activists allege Indian companies do by misusing provisions of the L1-visa. But the President also promised to continue to “push and prod and poke and cajole friends in the Republican Party” to arrive at a comprehensive immigration reform package.

“Over the past six years, we’ve worked hard to make ourselves a smarter place to invest and to do business than any other country in the world. And that’s one reason I created Select USA, the first-ever government-wide initiative to encourage more companies from around the world to invest and create jobs right here in the US,” Obama said, explaining that Select USA was a “kind of one-stop shop, sort of a match-making service for investment” that wakes up every morning with one mission — bringing job-creating investment to America.

A division of the Department of Commerce, Select USA is headed by Obama’s Indian-American college roommate Vinay Thumallapally, who was the CEO of a media storage manufacturing company in Denver before Obama nominated him to be ambassador to Belize soon after he was elected President.

Several Indian companies are attending the Select USA summit, attesting to an up tick in their US investment at a time that America, Obama boasted “is already home to more foreign direct investment than any other country in the world.” The President cited two foreign companies, one Canadian and one Swiss, that rescued failing US businesses and created local jobs.

According to a 2014 report by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) some 70 Indian companies have invested nearly $ 17 billion in the US., generating more than 80,000 jobs.

But Uncle Sam wants more. “The United States of America is the best place in the world to do business. We’ve got the most skilled and productive workers, the best universities, the most innovative entrepreneurs in the world. We’re the global leader in patents — home not only to more R&D investment than any other country but to nearly one-third of all R&D investment in the world,” Obama boasted, adding US “commitment to the rule of law and strong intellectual property protections make America a dependable place to innovate and do business.”

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com

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