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India files WTO complaint over US visa fees for tech workers

GENEVA – India has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization against the United States over its measures raising fees on some applicants for temporary work visas, mostly involving the tech sector.

The Geneva-based body said Friday that India has notified it has started dispute proceedings alleging the U.S. measures are not consistent with Washington’s commitments to accept services from other countries.

The complaint alleges that some Indians receive unfair treatment compared with Americans in the United States in providing similar services in sectors like computer services.

India in effect is seeking consultations with the U.S. The WTO will make further information available in coming days.

The Indian move is unusual at the WTO, where most disputes involve goods, tariffs and restrictions, not services.

In its three-page request for consultation, India alleged the U.S. had increased fees for temporary visas in December, officials said.

Last summer, the WTO upheld a ruling that India was unfairly blocking imports of U.S. poultry and eggs, which the Obama administration called a major victory that could expand export opportunities for American farmers.