India and US in talks to gain advantage on the new visa rules


In order to minimize the inconvenience caused by the new H1-B visa rules, that affect Indian techies the most, India and the US have engaged in a discussion to ensure increased predictability in the visa regime, the Ministry of External Affair said last Friday, on January 8.

In a media briefing, Anurag Srivastava, the MEA Spokesperson 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 till March 31, and it is keen on getting the best out of it for the country.

“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.

He also mentioned that there is a great demand for Indian talent in different industries and in various levels, and many companies recognize the competitive edge that the Indian professionals offer.

“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.