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US Tells India it is Considering Caps on H-1B Visas to Deter Data Rules: Sources

India, which has upset firms such as Mastercard and irked the US government with stringent new rules on data storage, is the largest recipient of these temporary visas, most of them to workers at big Indian technology firms. Two senior Indian government officials said on Wednesday they were briefed last week on a US government plan to cap H-1B visas issued each year to Indians at between 10% and 15% of the annual quota. Both officials said they were told the plan was linked to the global push for “data localisation” in which a country places restrictions on data as a way to gain better control over it and potentially curb the power of international companies. A Washington-based industry source aware of India-US negotiations also said the US was deliberating capping the number of H-1B visas in response to global data storage rules. The US Embassy in New Delhi did not respond to a request for comment.

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