In March this year, India dragged the US to WTO’s dispute settlement body against the latter’s measures imposing increased visa fees on certain applicants for L-1 and H-1B visa categories. India has stated that the move would impact Indian IT professionals.
The dispute concerns US immigration laws which increased visa fees for certain temporary foreign workers and allotted a specific number of temporary worker visas to Chilean and Singaporean nationals.
India has alleged that the US is violating its obligations under General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), a binding agreement for all WTO member countries, as well as the GATS Annex on Movement of Natural Persons Supplying Services, to not discriminate against or between non-US service providers. This appears to be the first time a WTO member has formally filed a dispute challenging the immigration laws of another member as a violation of the GATS.
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