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India closely engaging with the US on H-1B visa restrictions: External Affairs Ministry

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US Visa Processing

India is closely engaged with the US government and other related stakeholders on issues associated with the movement of Indian professionals, the External Affairs Ministry told the Lok Sabha in response to a question on H-1B visa restrictions affecting Indians.

The recent Trump government, through a presidential proclamation, had suspended work visas. Including H-1B visas, restricting entry of non-immigrant workers and their families. Put into effect on 22nd June 2020, the order affected skilled workers like computer programmers. Seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, and students on work-study programs, among others.

The order was initially scheduled to be in effect till 31st December 2020, yet was later extended till 31st March 2021. The suspension of H-1B visas had greatly influenced Indian IT professionals who were its greatest beneficiaries.

Moreover, the Information presented by Muraleedharan showed that Indians got a lot of H-1B visas in 2017, 2018, and 2019. In 2017, of the 179,049 visas issued, Indians bagged 129,097, or 72.1 percent. In 2018, out of 179,660 H-1B visas, 125,528 (69.9 percent) went to Indians. Also, in 2019, from 188,123 visas, 131,549 (69.9 percent) were awarded to Indians.

Muraleedharan, however, explained before the Lok Sabha that the presidential proclamation isn’t explicit to India or some other country.

H-1B Visa Restrictions

On measures to convince the US government to revoke this move, Muraleedharan said that India has raised the issue on various occasions.

“Government is closely engaged with the US administration and other relevant stakeholders on issues related to the movement of Indian professionals. Highlighting the significance of individuals to-individuals linkages and the commitment of Indian skilled professionals. To the growth and development of the US economy, particularly in the technology and innovation sector,” the minister expressed.

[Lawsuit filed against delays in processing authorization permits for H-1B dependents]

“Additionally these issues were raised during the India-US Foreign Office Consultations held on 7th July 2020. And the 2+2 India-US Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi on 27th October 2020,” he further added.

A week ago, the recently-elected Biden government said it will willing to reconsider the objections or adverse decisions to foreign workers on visas. Such as H-1B because of the three policy memos by the Trump govt that presently have been revoked.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had declared that “it might reopen and/or reconsider adverse decisions”. On Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker made based on the three rescinded policy memos.

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