A forthcoming announcement from the White House is set to make it simpler for Indian citizens to work in the U.S. with H-1B visas.
- Following Thursday’s meeting between President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the State Department is reportedly preparing to assist skilled workers from India working in the U.S. by approving or extending their visas.
- The State Department is preparing to approve and renew a small number of foreign visas as part of a program it intends to expand in the coming years, Reuters reports.
- No announcement has been officially made, but details of the program may be announced while Modi is still touring the U.S.
- Indian citizens are among the most proactive H-1B users and represented 73% of visas taken through the program in 2022, largely being sponsored by companies like Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Amazon, Alphabet, and Meta, Forbes reports.
Why It’s Important
The White House’s plan to ease visa restrictions is one part of a larger effort to ingratiate the U.S. with India further, turning it into a growing military and trade partner in the region.
The U.S.’s largest trade partner is China, which has spent the past several years tensing military aggression against Taiwan and India, oppressing religious minorities and smaller ethnical populations, facing violent political protests and turbulence, and disrupting international supply chains through its anti-COVID policies. Its instability is beginning to affect many companies’ profitability, in addition to creating national security concerns.
India is rapidly becoming an ideal Asian trading partner, with many large corporations like Apple already slowly moving production towards the country and opening new manufacturing planets. India is already a significant supplier of artificial intelligence components and is seeking the economic benefits of new jobs moving to its shores. Companies like IBM, Walmart, Microsoft, Google, Adobe, and Apple have already made notable strides in moving jobs to India, Axios notes.
As we previously reported, many economists and activists are advocating for increased immigration as a solution to U.S. demographic decline and the ongoing worker shortage.
“We all recognize that the mobility of our people is a huge asset to us. And so our goal is to approach that in a sort of multifaceted way. The State Department has already been working very hard to find creative ways to make changes to things. The pilot would begin with a small number of cases with the intention to scale the initiative over the following one to two years,” a state department spokesperson tells Reuters.