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US threatens to cap H1B visas for India

The United States is reportedly planning to impose caps on H-1B visas for countries that compel foreign companies to store data locally according to sources, obviously referring to India’s position on data protection. The move would hurt India in particular as it is the largest recipient of these temporary visas, especially for its large technology firms. This comes days ahead of the planned visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to New Delhi. India’s data protection norms have been strongly criticised by the US government as well as companies like Mastercard. The warning is ominous considering that India and US have engaged in tit-for-tat tariff actions in the recent few weeks.

Currently, these visas have no country–specific limit on the 85,000 H-1B work visas granted by US each year, out of which around 70% go to Indians.