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US denies targeting India on H1B visas

The US has officially denied that it will put a cap on H1B visas for nations that compel foreign companies to store data locally. This was confirmed by a state department spokesperson. She said that although a broad review of the programme is being done, it is not country-specific. News that US is planning to put a cap of 10-15% on H1B visas from India as a retaliation to the latter’s data localisation policy drew sharp reactions from industry. Nasscom stated that it would imply a “further crunch” for businesses to access skilled workforce. These visas are extensively used by the Indian IT industry to bring its engineers and developers to US to service its clients that include Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc in the US, their biggest market. Sudheer Guntupalli, an analyst with Ambit Capital, said, “American companies themselves need Indian talent, so if there is a cap on these visas, this will impact US companies also and hurt their business interests.”