Thousands of Indian H-1B visa holders will benefit as new rules allowing them to renew their visas in the US come into force. Until now, they needed to return to India. This was in fact one of the outcomes of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US in June last year.
Also benefited are one lakh H-4 visa holders who are generally the spouses and children of H-1B visa holders. They will be granted automatic work authorization. Earlier the children would have had to return to India on attaining 21 years of age.
A “beneficiary-centric registration” will also allow multiple unrelated employers to submit a registration for the same non-citizen.
Indians made up over 70 per cent of 4,42,000 H-1B visa holders in 2022 and this number is expected to have gone up last year. US immigration rules are being tweaked to ensure that graduates in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics are given a smoother path to the coveted US green card.
A report in Science Magazine in December last year titled New US Immigrant Rules Spur More Visa Approvals for STEM Workers, said the changes had been made as early as January 2022 by the Citizenship & Immigration Service.
This has helped two visa categories of STEM workers: O-1A a temporary visa for “aliens of extraordinary ability” paves the way for a green card. The other is holders of the EB-2 visa who have advanced STEM degrees.