Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a visit to the United States, and he was grandly welcomed by President Joe Biden. It seems to be a very fruitful event in cementing the relations between both countries as the US government made some sincere efforts that shows their keen interest in maintaining good terms with India. The government of the United States is all set to make things easier for thousands of skilled workers by allowing them to renew their H-1B Visas from The United States itself. As part of a pilot program, the state department of the US has made some sincere efforts to figure out some sensible ways to make things conducive for foreigners working with an H-1B Visa in the US.
What is H-1B Visa, and why is its renewal an issue?
It’s a non-immigrant work visa that gives companies in The United States to hire people with specialised skills from foreign countries. It will be given to skilled foreign employees for a period of three years and can be renewed every three years.
Every year, 65,000 H-1B Visas are made available for companies based in the US to hire specialised talent from across the world. In addition to these, 20,000 visas will be there for those with advanced skills.
The problem over here is people have to move abroad to renew their H-1B Visa from a US consulate. Until 2004, H-1B Visas, including many other non-immigrant visas, could be renewed within the US itself. After 2004, people with an H-1B needed to get their passports stamped with renewal dates when they got their visas renewed, which has become a big trouble for both employers and employees. The recent move as part of the pilot program of the people-to-people initiative could potentially give great relief to the H-1B Visa holders.
How is it beneficial to Indians working in the United States?
Nearly 73% of the total H-1B Visas issued in the US were given to Indian skilled employees. This number itself is evident that any move by the US government for the welfare of the H-1B Visa holders will significantly benefit the Indian people as the majority of H-1B Visas are owned by India. Another important stat was nearly 1,25,000 student visas were issued to Indian students in the last year alone, and a majority of them are more likely to apply for an H-1B after their studies and hence can benefit from this move.
To conclude, the recent Visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States has given many positive signs in strengthening the bilateral ties between these two world’s largest democracies and can greatly benefit those Indians working in the US with an H-1B Visa as they don’t have to move back to their home country every three years to just renew their H-1B Visa.