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L-1B visas to become easier to get: Barack Obama

Huge influx of foreign IT workers expected.

By Raif Karerat

WASHINGTON, DC: President Barack Obama has announced plans to streamline the L-1B visa application process easier for corporate executives — a maneuver that would undoubtedly make it easier for companies to hire from abroad and bolster the influx of Indian information technology professionals immigrating to the United States.

At the SelectUSA Summit in Washington DC, the president stated his belief the L-1B action will attract larger foreign investment and that there has never been a more exciting time to do business in the U.S.

“My administration is going to reform the L-1B visa category, which allows corporations to temporarily move workers from a foreign office to a U.S. office in a faster, simpler way,” President Obama said during his address at the investment-oriented summit. “And this could benefit hundreds of thousands of non-immigrant workers and their employers, that in turn, will benefit our entire economy and spur additional investment.”

The executive action on L-1B visas comes just days after the National Foundation for American Policy released a report detailing the rising difficulty foreign nationals are having obtaining the visa, with the largest rise in denials affecting Indian nationals. At the time of the report, applications for Indians were denied 56 percent of the time.

The overarching decline of the L-1 visa program has been a detriment to Indian companies looking to invest in the United States, but Obama seems confident in the ability of his administration’s latest immigration reform to provide a catalyst for new growth.

“One of the things that would make America even more attractive to businesses and that would grow our economy and shrink our deficits, and keep this country safer, stronger, and smarter, would be a comprehensive immigration reform package,” he said.

“We want to make it as simple and as attractive for [foreign investors] to set up shop here as is possible,” he continued, adding that he hoped global companies would benefit from the new measures.

“The bottom line is this,” the president stated emphatically, “America is proudly open for business.”

However, it’s not clear when the process will be reformed, or how many more L1-B visa applications would be allowed by the administration.

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