H-1B visas: US may blink for India if Modi gets Compassion International off watch list

Leaders of top Indian IT companies are all set to meet senior officials of the Trump administration later this month to lobby against any major changes to visa regulations that could hurt the country's $150 billion industry.

H-1B visas: US may blink for India if Modi gets Compassion International off watch list

US President Donald Trump’s decision to regulate H-1B visas has left the Information Technology industry in India on tenterhooks.

Leaders of top Indian IT companies are all set to meet senior officials of the Trump administration later this month to lobby against any major changes to visa regulations that could hurt the country's $150 billion industry.

But it looks like the Trump administration is waiting with a deal. Sources say that the US government is willing to allow Indian IT firms to continue with their H-1B numbers as long as the Government of India removes Christian charity Compassion International from its list of NGOs that need permission to receive funds from abroad. Recently, the charity’s chief said the NGO was unable to function without foreign funds and will close soon.


Compassion International vice-president Stephen Oakley recently met Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar in New Delhi at a meeting attended by US Embassy officials and asked for strictures to be removed on the organisation that has operated in India for over 30 years, bringing in approximately ₹292 crore per year and funds 344 NGOs in India,
The Hindu
reported.

Even after the US government moved the Indian administration over the restriction, the Modi government has not taken the Christian charity off the list. And it is this carrot the US wants to allow Indian IT firms to continue using H-1B visas.

Shalabh 'Shalli' Kumar, who heads the Republican Hindu Coalition and is a Trump supporter, said there will be a need for more H-1B visas. "The number of people on H-1B from India is certainly going to increase," he said.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the US government grants 65,000 regular H-1B visas every year, which are allocated by lottery and a sizable number of them go to the technology sector.

Kumar also said he believed the White House would work to eliminate country-quota towards allocation of green cards for legal permanent residents.