Donald Lu, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, also told the Press Trust of India in an interview this week that he is also prioritizing work visas: the H-1B and L visas, which are most sought after by India’s IT professionals. is
The US is on track to grant more than one million visas to Indians this year, a top official said, adding that the Biden administration is committed this summer to ensuring it processes all student visas for Indians whose school starts this fall.
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical skills.
Technology companies depend on it to hire thousands of employees every year from countries like India and China.
Donald Lu said “We are on track to issue over 1 million visas this year. This is a record for us along with a record number of student visas and immigrant visas.”
Donald Lu also said the US is committed this summer to making sure it processes all student visas for Indians whose school starts this fall.
There is growing concern about long wait times for first-time visa applicants in India, especially those applying under the B1 (business) and B2 (tourist) categories.
India now ranks second in the world in terms of international students coming to America.
Donald Lu said “We also give priority to work visa H-1B and L visa. Wait time in some of our consular sections in India, these visas are now less than 60 days. We will continue to ensure that we prioritize visas for workers, as this is critical to both the American and Indian economies.”
He said. “For certain petition-based nonimmigrant work visa categories, we plan to resume domestic visa renewals for applicants who meet certain requirements, including being physically present in the US. We plan to do a pilot later this year. Eliminate the need for these applicants to travel abroad to renew their visas”
In response to a question about those Indian IT professionals who are on H-1B visas and have lost their jobs, Donald Lu noted that the Department of Homeland Security has recently released some new information specifically on what these workers should do. Rearrange their positions.
India-US relations enjoy bilateral support in the US, he said.
“I think part of the answer you can find in the really strong diaspora community in the US. For 30 years or more, our relationship has been driven in part by Indian Americans who have lived here for decades, but still maintain a very strong connection with them. India,” he said.
“This is an amazing number because we are not close at all. It is very expensive to fly back and forth. But people who have come here or maybe their parents came from India, those ties remain. They are not cut. through immigration,” he said.
“In fact, we now know that more than 100,000 Americans live in India as well. This relationship is weighing and beneficial to both of us. Yes. So, I think it’s as true for political parties as it is for families in the US. . Growing up I had many Indian American friends. I think it’s just part of the fabric of the United States,” Donald Lu said.