Indian techies to benefit from US' new H-1B visa rules
In what could be a huge relief for many Indian techies based in the United States (US), the country is set to resume "domestic visa revalidation" in specific categories on a pilot basis, with the goal of expanding it in the coming years. The pilot project, which is set to begin later this year, may benefit foreign tech workers on L1 and H-1B visas.
Why does this story matter?
- In recent months, the Joe Biden administration has taken several steps to streamline the visa processing system and reduce inconvenience.
- Under the existing rule, which came into force in 2004, the method for restamping L1 and H1-B visas required individuals to visit their home country and submit their visas, documents, and passports through a dropbox or an interview.
How US plans to ease visa renewal hustle for applicants
According to the news agency PTI, the US plans to eliminate the need for applicants to travel abroad to renew their visas. "We are working in earnest on plans to restart this service for certain petition-based NIV categories, and we hope to have a pilot up and running later this year," said a State Department spokesperson.
Pilot would begin with small number of cases
"We cannot comment on how many visa holders would be initially eligible, but the pilot would begin with a small number of cases before scaling over the following 1-2 years," added the spokesperson.
All you need to know about H-1B visa
The H-1B visa is a Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) that allows companies in the US to hire foreign workers in professions that demand technical expertise. Numerous tech companies in America use this process to hire people from nations such as China and India. Furthermore, the H-1B visa is issued by the US for a period of three years.
Know about L-1 visa
The L-1 visa is another type of work visa issued by the United States to professionals seeking to work in the country. Unlike the H-1B visa, the L-1 visa is issued to individuals who are already employed by the company in a different country and are merely relocating to a US office.
Indians secured 3.01 lakh H-1B visas during 2021: Report
As per the US Department of Homeland Security report, India-born people secured a significant amount of H-1B visas allotted during 2021. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted nearly 4.07 lakh H-1B applications in 2021, a slightly lower total than the previous year. Of the total H-1B applications in 2021, 74.1% were from India, which translates to nearly 3.01 lakh successful beneficiaries.
2.25 lakh people renounced Indian citizenship in 2022: Jaishankar
On Friday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar announced that over 16 lakh people had renounced their Indian citizenship since 2011. This includes 2.25 lakh in 2022. The data further confirmed that this was also the highest during this period, while the lowest was 85,256 in 2020. Jaishankar provided the year-wise statistics of Indians who renounced their citizenship during his address in the Rajya Sabha.
Centre aware of professionals being laid off by US companies
Responding to a question on whether the Centre has the exact number of Indian professionals in the US who got laid off, V Muraleedharan, the Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, said that the government is fully aware. "Of these, a certain percentage is likely to be Indian nationals on H-1B and L1 visas," Muraleedharan said.