US to ease visas for skilled Indian workers as Modi visits

Washington, June 22 (BNA): The Biden administration will make it easier for Indians to live and work in the United States, taking advantage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit this week to help some skilled workers enter or remain in the country, according to The Guardian. Three people familiar with the matter.

The State Department may announce as soon as Thursday that a small number of Indians and other foreign workers holding H-1B visas will be able to renew those visas in the United States, one of the sources said, without having to travel abroad. A pilot program that could be expanded in the coming years, according to Reuters.

Indian nationals are by far the most active users in the US H-1B program and made up 73% of the approximately 442,000 H-1B workers in fiscal 2022.

Another US official said, “We all know that the mobility of our people is a great asset to us.” “And so our goal is to approach that in a multifaceted way. The State Department is really working hard on finding creative ways to make changes to things.”

“The pilot model will start with a small number of cases with the aim of expanding the initiative over the next one to two years,” the spokesperson said, while declining to specify which cases are small.

Each year, the U.S. government provides 65,000 H-1B visas to companies looking for skilled foreign workers, plus an additional 20,000 visas to workers with advanced degrees. Visas last for three years and can be renewed for another three years.

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The companies hiring the most H-1B workers in recent years include India-based Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services as well as US-based Amazon, Alphabet and Meta, according to US government data.

The spokesperson said the ability for some temporary foreign workers to renew visas in the United States will provide resources for conducting visa interviews at consulates abroad.


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