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Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava (ANI)
Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava (ANI)

Engaged with the US government for increased predictability in H1B visa regime: MEA

  • The Indian statement was in reaction to the US on Thursday announcing that it will modify the selection process for H1B visa, giving priority to salary and skills instead of the current lottery procedures

NEW DELHI : India on Friday said it was “engaged" with the US to ensure “increased predictability" in American visa rules especially those governing H1B visas, popular with Indian software professionals and others travelling for work to the US.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said India had taken note of the “recent proclamations of the US Government extending by three more months the current suspension of entry of certain immigrants and non-immigrants to the United States of America."

The Indian statement was in reaction to the US on Thursday announcing that it will modify the selection process for H1B visa, giving priority to salary and skills instead of the current lottery procedures. The Trump administration tightened the rules in the wake of unemployment rising on the back of US businesses downing shutters in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic crippling the economy.

The rule to be published in the federal register on 8 January is aimed at protecting the economic interests of US workers and ensuring that most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment programme, a PTI report from Washington said on Thursday. It will remain effective for 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. The next H1B visa filing season is slated to start on 1 April, the report said.

“We are engaged with the US Government for increased predictability in the visa regime and to minimize inconvenience to Indian nationals in the US or those proposing to travel to the US for bonafide reasons, including the movement of Indian professionals," Srivastava he said.

“People-to-people relations are a vital part of the partnership between India and the US. There is recognition in the US of the fact that Indian skilled professionals have contributed to the growth of the US economy and helped the US retain its competitive edge and innovation advantage," he added.

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. US technology companies depend on this category of visa to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

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