H1-B Visa Restrictions Relaxed for Indian Professionals

Relaxation in Visa Renewal Process

The Biden administration plans to simplify the process for Indians to reside and work in the United States, capitalizing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to facilitate the entry or continued stay of skilled workers in the country.

According to insiders, the State Department is expected to announce, possibly as early as Thursday, a pilot program that allows a limited number of Indian and other foreign workers on H-1B visas to renew their visas within the United States, eliminating the need to travel abroad.

This pilot initiative has the potential to expand in the coming years. Among the beneficiaries of the H-1B program, Indian citizens are the most predominant, accounting for a significant 73% of the nearly 442,000 H-1B workers in the fiscal year 2022.

According to a US official, the importance of enabling the movement of people between countries is widely acknowledged. Hence, the aim is to adopt a comprehensive approach towards this goal. The State Department has been actively exploring innovative strategies to bring about necessary changes. Annually, the US government allocates 65,000 H-1B visas for companies seeking skilled foreign workers, in addition to 20,000 visas for workers with advanced degrees. These visas have a validity of three years and can be extended for another three years.

Based on data from US government sources, prominent companies such as Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services from India, along with Amazon, Alphabet, and Meta in the US, have been among the top users of H-1B workers in recent years.

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