According to a senior official, the USA is on a plan to grant more than a million visas to Indians this year, promising that the Biden administration is committed this summer to processing all student visas for Indians starting from this Fall Intake.
In an interview this week, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lu told the media that they are also emphasising work visas, including H-1B and L visas, which are the most sought-after by Indian IT specialists.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits US businesses to hire foreign employees in specialised vocations that require theoretical or technical knowledge. IT and tech companies rely on it to hire tens of thousands of staff from countries such as India and China each year.
According to Lu, the United States is on track to create a new record by issuing over a million visas by the end of this year. This will be a new record for the country, as will the amount of student and immigrant visas issued.
Lu also stated the growing concerns in India over the long wait times for first-time visa applicants, particularly those seeking under the B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) categories. In terms of international students going to the USA, India is presently ranked second in the world.
According to Lu, there is a proposal to commence domestic visa renewal for some petition-based nonimmigrant work visa categories for applicants who fulfil specific qualifications, including being physically present in the US.
Lu also indicated that the United States intends to launch a pilot programme later this year. These candidates would no longer need to travel abroad to renew their visas.
In response to a question about Indian IT professionals on H-1B visas who have lost their employment, Lu stated that the Department of Homeland Security just issued updated guidance on what these individuals should do if they wish to change their status.
Source: The Hindu
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