India is engaged in talks with the United States to ensure increased predictability in the visa regime especially those governing H1B visas, and to minimise inconvenience to Indians in the US or other professionals proposing to travel to the country, the Ministry of External Affair said on Friday.
MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at an online media briefing said that India had taken note of the recent proclamations of the US government extending the suspension on the entry of certain immigrants and non-immigrants by three more months.
“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 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 country retain its competitive edge and innovation advantage," he added.
The statement was in reaction to the US announcing modification in 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 rising unemployment in the backdrop of US businesses shutting down due to the covid-19 pandemic, crippling the economy.
The modified rules aim to protect the economic interests of US workers and to ensure that most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment program. 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 April 1.
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 tech companies depend on this visa category to hire millions of employees each year from India and China.