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Will Indians Get US Visa Now?

An engineering student who completes his bachelor degree, aims to join Masters' in America(USA).
A management professional wants to start a business in the US. An elderly couple wants to travel to US as tourists. The common thing in all of these people is, they need visa.

Visa is an official authorization by the government of that country to travel in it. To study, work, business or visit, there is a particular visa for each purpose. Depending on the need, the government of that country decides which visa is to be granted. Recently, Donald Trump administration has asked foreign students in the US, whose colleges have shifted to online teaching, to shift to schools that have in-person classes or leave the country, a move that potentially would affect thousands of Indian students in America. Let us know about the situation and types of US visa.

10 lakh visas per year
America.... the dreamland to many, from all over the world to achieve their goals. Coming to Indians, education, employment business, technology, opportunities, attractive wages, lifestyle, in that country, etc. are attracting them immensely to travel to US. Students who have gone on education visa are getting employment after the completion of their studies.

Since Native Americans are feeling that they are losing the opportunities in education and employment because of foreigners, the US government has enacted new visa code regulations. To prioritize Americans, the government has changed visa regulations so that foreign workers can be sent home. US is refusing the people to stay if visa is expired legally. Many Indian applicants H1B visa extension has already been rejected in the last few months.

Last year (2019) 9,85,469 people traveled to the US on all types of visas from India. Of these, 46 thousands were on F1,2 (Student), 12,000 went on J1,000 Visas (Research), 5.95 lakh went on B1,2 Visas (2.95 lakh) and H Visa (Software / Skilled Employment).

Foreigners constitute around 5.5% of the students enrolling in US colleges and contributed over $ 41 billion to the US in fiscal year 2019. India sent over 2 lakh students to the US in fiscal 2019, the largest after China.

Visa Types
Under US immigration law - the government issues visas in two ways. They are non- immigrant and immigrant visas. Non- immigrant visas are offered on temporary basis. That is, they are issued to stay in the US for a while. Immigrant visas allow them to reside permanently in the United States. Immigrant visas are issued only for those with a green card.

Non immigrant visas are issued to those who travel, study, work, research, medicine, business and special occasions in the US. The US government issues nearly 29 types of non immigrant visas. Some of the important visas are...
H1B Visa: It allows companies in the US to hire talented from the foreign countries. The government grants about 65,000 H1B visas annually. Another 20,000 visas are granted to foreigners who have studied and obtained jobs in the US. H-4 visa is issued to family members of H1B visa holders.
L1A and L1B Visa: These are visas that allow employees to work in a managerial level in the company or for their internal temporary transfers with specialist knowledge. L2 visas are granted to those who depend on them.
H2A Visa: This is a temporary visa for agriculture and agro-based industries. H2B visa is granted to the workers of the services that are not available in the country. H3 visas are issued to those who travel to US for specialized training. All these are temporary visas that are valid for two to three years.
J1 Visa: This is for Research Scholars. That is, J1 visas are issued to those who do research in the medical / science fields. Their family members are granted J2 visa.
H1C Visa: This is a visa for the professionals of Nursing Services.
B1 and B2 Visas: These are temporary visas given to visitors and for business purposes in the US. This is valid for about six months.
F1 Visa: It is issued to foreign students studying in the US. F2 visa are are given to their spouse / children.
G-4 Visa: This is visa given to the employees of the International Organization that are located in the US. G5 visa are given to those people who come along G-4 Vssa holders to provide the services to them in the US.

The most affected by the Trump's sanctions are those who go there for employment or work and are back now in their home lands now. H1B, H2B, H3, J1 visas holders who came to their native countries are unable to go back to US in current situation. Those who are already in the US and the visas are expired are not likely to come to India because of Covid-19. These people can apply for F1 / F2 visas for a longer stay. As a whole, Trump's decision will have a negative impact on nearly 1.45 million Indians in the US . As US Embassies are in lock-down till December 31, new visas are not to be issued for this year.

It is temporary
With the presidential election soon to be held in the US, the President Trump has raised the visa factor for a political campaign that natives are losing their jobs due to foreigners coming to America and he is campaigning to give jobs to the locals. Hence, H1B visa aspirants are worried. But, job only for the locals are yet to be legalized. In fact, only 65 thousand H1B visas are issued per year. Another 20 thousand will be given to foreigners who are already educated and employed in that country. That's 85 thousand visas in total! Of those working in the US, China accounts for 16 percent, Mexico 15 percent and India 11 percent. Indians are the loyal employees to American software companies with low wages. So, companies are not willing to give up them. Indian students also pay higher fees to study in American universities. Otherwise, the varsities would run into financial crisis. That's why, Indians may not have visa problems. Once the presidential elections are over, the situation will improve. Already, visa restrictions on China are likely to result in the favor India in granting the visas.
- P. Maruthi Prasad Reddy, Eagle 9 Consultants MD (Hyderabad).
Published date : 11 Jul 2020 02:04PM

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