On Thursday, in the Parliament, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the Indian government is “closely engaged” with the US Department of State over the suspension of the H-1B visas issue.
In the parliament, MEA said that the US Presidential Proclamation of June 22, 2020, which suspended entry of certain categories of non-immigrant visa holders and their families till December 31, 2020, and then extended to 31 March, 2021, isn’t specific to India or any one country.
While replying to a question in Rajya Sabha on the issue of suspension of H-1B visas, MEA said: “Government is closely engaged with US Administration and other stakeholders on issues related to movement of Indian professionals, highlighting importance of people-to-people linkages and contribution of Indian skilled professionals to growth and development of the US economy.”
The MEA also stated that as per the US Department of State, Indian nationals have received between 69.9% to 72.1% of the total H-1B visas issued by the US government between the fiscal years 2017 to 2019.
Trump had extended the freeze on the primary employment (H-1B) visas and other types of foreign work visas by three months to protect American workers, saying although therapeutics and Covid-19 vaccines are recently available, their effect on the labor market and community health has not yet been fully realized. He stated that the move was required to help Americans who had lost their jobs.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that lets US companies hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical knowledge.