In a move aimed at facilitating the entry and stay of skilled workers in the United States, the Joe Biden administration is set to introduce new regulations that would make it easier for Indians to live and work in the country.
The decision comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on an official state visit to the US. Reuters has reported that the US State Department may unveil the announcement as early as Thursday, revealing that a select number of Indians and other foreign workers on H-1B visas will be able to renew their visas within the US, eliminating the need to travel abroad. This initiative is part of a pilot program that could potentially be expanded in the coming years, reported by Reuters.
India constitutes a significant proportion of H-1B visa holders and applicants, with Indian citizens accounting for a staggering 73 percent of the nearly 442,000 H-1B workers in the fiscal year 2022.
One US official emphasized the importance of mobility in enhancing the nation’s workforce, referring to it as a “huge asset” to the country. “Our goal is to approach this issue from multiple angles. The State Department has been diligently exploring innovative solutions to bring about these changes,” stated the official, as reported by Reuters.
While the US State Department spokesperson did not disclose the specific types of visas that would qualify under the new rules or provide a timeline for the pilot launch, they did mention that the program would commence with a limited number of cases. The intention is to gradually expand the initiative over the next one or two years, as stated in the Reuters report.