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US to ease H1-B visas for skilled Indian workers as Modi visits

h1 b visa: The Biden administration will make it easier for Indians to Study, live and work in the United States of America, using this week’s state visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help some skilled workers enter or remain in the country, according to three people familiar with the situation or matter.

The State Division or Department could declare as soon as Thursday that a small number of Indian and other foreign workers or laborers on h1 b visa will be able to renew those visas in the U.S. without having to travel abroad, one of the sources said, as part of a pilot program that could be expanded in coming years.

h1 b visa

Indian citizens are by far the most active users of the U.S. h1 b visa program and made up 73% of the nearly 442,000 h1 b visa workers in the fiscal year 2022.

Another American official stated, “We all recognize that mobility of our people is a huge asset to us.” Therefore, our objective is to approach that in a variety of ways. The State Department has already put in a lot of effort to come up with novel approaches to altering the situation.

A State Department spokesperson declined or rejected to comment on questions about which visa types would qualify or the timing of the pilot launch. Bloomberg Law first reported plans for a pilot program in February.

The spokesperson stated, without specifying the term, “The pilot would begin with a small number of cases with the intention to scale the initiative over the following one to two years.”

The step could change and are not final until they are announced. The White House did not respond.

Each year, the U.S.A. government makes 65,000 h1 b visa available to companies seeking skilled foreign Laborers or workers, along with an additional 20,000 visas for workers with advanced degrees. The visas can be renewed for an additional three years and last for three years.

The companies using the most h1 b visa workers in recent years include the Indian-based Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services as well as Alphabet, Amazon and Meta in the U.S., according to U.S. government data.

The ability for some of the temporary International or foreign workers to renew h1 b visa in the U.S. would free up resources for h1 b visa interviews in consulates abroad, the spokesperson said.

One of the sources said that some workers in the pilot program would also have L-1 visas, which are available to people who move within a company to a job in the United States.

A separate initiative to clear a backlog of h1 b visa applications at U.S. embassies in India is finally showing signs of progress, according to another one of those sources, and is expected to be figure into the discussions between the two countries’ delegations in Washington this week. India has long had concerns with the difficulty its citizens face in receiving visas to live in the United States, including technology industry workers. More than 10 million jobs stood open in the United States at the end of April, according to the Labor Department.

Some h1 b visa holders in the United States have been among the thousands of tech workers laid off this year, sending them scrambling to find new employers within a 60-day “grace period” or return to their home country.

In an effort to circumvent Congress’s lack of political will to comprehensively reform U.S. immigration policy, the Biden administration has spent months working to improve Indian visa access. In an effort to better compete with China, President Joe Biden wants to bring together the two largest democracies in the world.

After Washington halted nearly all visa processing worldwide in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. visa services are still working to clear a backlog. Some families have been separated for long periods of time as a result of the visa backlog, and some of them have expressed their grief on social media.

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