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US to launch domestic work visa renewal program in December, Indians to benefit most: Official

Washington, Nov 29 (PTI) The United States is set to launch a pilot program for domestic renewal of certain categories of H-1B visas in December, a US official has said, in a move that will help a large number of Indian technology professionals. will benefit. Said.

This comes months after the White House announced the plan during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit in June.

In an interview to PTI, Julie Stuffat, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, said, “In India, the demand (for US visas) is still very high. The wait times of six, eight and 12 months are not like what we have. ” There is a need and (it) is not indicative of how we see India.” He said, “We want to ensure that Indian travelers can get appointments as quickly as possible. One way we are doing this is through the domestic visa renewal program, which is very much focused on India. “We’re handling it.”

Over a three-month period starting in December, the State Department will issue 20,000 visas to foreign nationals who are already inside the country.

“We will do 20,000 in the first group. Most of them will be Indian citizens living in the US and we will expand as it progresses.

“Since Indians are the largest skilled group of workers in the United States, we hope that India will greatly benefit from this program and it will allow people to travel back to India or anywhere else for a visa appointment to renew their visas.” “This will allow our missions in India to focus on new applicants,” Stuffat said.

Although the State Department has been working on starting such a program on a pilot basis for some time, it was formally announced during Modi’s visit.

The plan, which was mentioned in the joint statement and announced by Modi during his address to the Indian diaspora at the Ronald Reagan Center, has been enthusiastically welcomed by the Indian community in the US.

Responding to a question, Stuffat said there will be a Federal Register notice, which will be the first official notice, coming soon, and it will describe all the steps that need to be taken and who is eligible to apply first. Is. Installment and submit those instructions.

“But I can say that we are doing these visas here in the United States. So, the idea is to have the visas shipped from the United States to us in Washington. We print the visas and process the visas, it passport and send it back to someone in the United States,” she said.

“(So that) people don’t have to go to Mexico or Canada or back to India or anywhere (elsewhere) to get that visa renewed. That’s something that will be laid out very clearly in this Federal Register notice coming in a couple of weeks. Out,” he said.

Stuft underlined that the domestic visa renewal program is for work visas only.

“It’s an existing regulation that was allowed and we haven’t used it in almost 20 years. These are work visas. It’s for people who have been living in the US for a long time but without going back abroad to continue their Want to renew visa.” ” He said.

Describing it as a “huge undertaking”, Stufft said, “We’re very excited about it. We’re starting small with a pilot project of 20,000 cases in December, January and February and we look forward to opening it up to more categories of workers.” “Looking forward to it.” Stay in the United States for the remainder of 2024.” In a statement, Indian-American community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria called the State Department’s move “significant.”

As a commissioner of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, Bhutoria has put forward a proposal that was accepted and recommended by US President Joe Biden.

“I am pleased to see the recommendation I presented on behalf of the immigration subcommittees at the Commission for H-1B visa stamping in the United States finally being implemented,” he said.

He said the relief will ultimately impact more than one million H-1B holders, a large number of whom are Indians.

“My heartfelt thanks to President Biden, the State Department, the AANHPI Commission, and the members of the Immigration Subcommittee. Furthermore, my commitment to immigration issues remains unwavering, I will continue to advocate for issues like removing the seven-year country limit, reducing the green limit, Advocate for policy changes.” Five-year backlog and card backlog for approved I-140s with older children and EAD,” Bhutoria said.

This progress, he said, reflects a society moving toward inclusivity, reducing the burden for legal immigrants. PTI LKJ Division Division

(This story is published as part of an auto-generated syndicated wire feed. No edits to the headline or body have been made by ABP Live.)

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