India is engaged with the US for increased predictability in the visa regime and to minimise inconvenience to Indians in the US or those proposing to travel to that country, including the movement of Indian professionals, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday.
The assertion by MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at an online media briefing came after the outgoing Trump administration modified the selection process for H-1B visa, giving priority to salary and skills instead of the current lottery procedures.
Asked about the US Capitol Hill violence, Mr Srivastava said the Indian position has been made clear in a tweet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
PM Modi had tweeted: “Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests.”
To a question on the developments related to the H1B visa in the US, Mr Srivastava said, “We have taken note of the recent proclamations of the US government extending by three more months the current suspension of entry of certain immigrants and non-immigrants to the United States of America.”
“We are engaged with the US government for increased predictability in the visa regime and to minimise inconvenience to Indian nationals in the US or those proposing to travel to the US for bonafide reasons, including the movement of Indian professionals,” he said.
People-to-people relations are a vital part of the partnership between India and the US, he added.
There is recognition in the US of the fact that Indian skilled professionals have contributed to the growth of the US economy and helped the US retain its competitive edge and innovation advantage, Mr Srivastava said.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
The next H-1B visa filing season is slated to start on April 1.