MUMBAI, India — India says a bill to increase visa fees for foreign workers discriminates against Indian companies.

The legislation would raise fees for H1B and L1 visas, which outsourcing companies use to send workers to the U.S. for project work. The fee increases would only be levied on companies where over half of U.S.-based employees use work visas.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was approved by the Senate last week and by the House on Tuesday. The money the fee increases would raise would be used to pay for heightened security on the U.S.-Mexico border.

India’s commerce minister, Anand Sharma, said that the bill would cost Indian companies more than $200 million a year.

He argued that the bill unfairly targets Indian companies because U.S. companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Intel – which he says use more foreign-worker visas than Indian companies – would not be liable for the increased fees because a greater proportion of their workers are American.


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