Concluding his four-day visit to the United States, the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi announced that the United States and India have reached a consensus to allow Indian citizens to renew their H1B visas within the United States, eliminating the need for them to return to India for this purpose.
In a recent event, the US authorities have decided to declare their intention to introduce ‘in-country’ renewable H-1B visas as a part of their people-to-people initiative. This measure aims to streamline the H-1B visa renewal process for several Indian individuals currently employed in the United States on an H-1B visa.
What is an H-1B Visa?
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant work visa that allows foreign workers with specialized skills to go to the United States and work for American companies for a definite period. Generally, the roles available for this visa require a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and the foreigner must particularly work in a field that requires specific skills, for which a US-based worker cannot be found. The positions that qualify for H-1B visas are usually in the fields of technology, engineering, finance, or others.
While applying for this visa, the candidate is completely sponsored by the American company in which they are hired. The payment for the visa fees and submission of required documents is made by the company on behalf of the candidate.
This visa is initially valid only for three years but can be extended up to six years. Based on the work being done, the candidate can further extend their visas under some exceptions.
At the time of renewal of the visa, the candidates were required to get their passports stamped with the new renewal dates. This process was required if the candidate wanted to travel outside of the country and then re-enter the US, which used to create a lot of inconvenience to the guest workers and their employees as well, especially when the wait time for a visa is more than 800 days or two years.
What change will there be?
The Indian professionals will be able to renew their work visas in the US itself as new consulates of America will be opened in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. The authorities of the United States announced this initiative to smoothen the renewal process for Indians working in the US.
Also, a new consulate of India is going to open in Seattle this year along with two more cities in America.
How will it benefit Indian professionals?
This visa renewal decision is going to help thousands of Indian professionals as they will be able to continue their jobs without bothering to travel overseas for their H1B visa renewal.