The US has assured India that it will reduce the backlog of visa applications after foreign minister S Jaishankar raised the matter with US secretary of state, Antony Blinken.
“The last thing we want to do is make that any more difficult. On the contrary, we want to facilitate it. So, bear with us,” Blinken was quoted as saying. Blinken said the US had been facing this issue owing to the pandemic.
It’s reported that the waiting period for Indians looking to secure a visitor visa to the US has gone up to 800 days. Generally, the waiting period is 400 days for non-immigrant, student and exchange visitor visas. The updated figures are available on the website of the US State Department.
The Siasat.com claims that Indians bagged the highest number of H1B visas in fiscal 2021, which is over 74% of the allotments. It revealed that while Indians continued to get the highest number of H1B visas, the number dropped from 3,19,494 in 2020 to 3,01,616 in 2021. The visas for Indians fell from 75 to 74%.
The H1B visa authorises US companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require technical or theoretical expertise.
Indian talent is in high demand in the US, with prominent tech companies now run by Indian-born CEOs. Recently, Mumbai-born, IIT alumnus Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer, was promoted as Chief Executive Officer. Big tech giants such as IBM, Alphabet, Adobe and Microsoft are all run by Indians.
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