Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first one-on-one meeting with President Joe Biden, raised several issues related to the Indian community in the US, including access to Indian professionals to the US and the issue of H-1B visas. This information was given by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
Prime Minister Modi described his first bilateral meeting in the Oval Office as spectacular with US President Joe Biden, who said India-US ties are destined to be “stronger, closer and closer”. Regarding this meeting, Shringla said, ‘He (Modi) talked about the issue of getting access for Indian professionals in America. In that context, he mentioned an H-1B visa.
The most sought-after H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire thousands of employees every year from countries like India and China.
Shringla said, “He also talked about the fact that many Indian professionals working here contribute to social security. The benefit of those contributions is something that affects the number of Indian workers in the US.
A fact sheet released by the White House later said that the US is proud to issue a record 62,000 visas to Indian students so far in 2021. About 200,000 Indian students in the US contribute US$7.7 billion annually to the US economy. As the world celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright program, the event has been bringing Americans and Indians together for 71 years since its launch in India.
“In 2008, we welcomed India’s decision to jointly fund these fellowships with the United States and renamed the program the Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship Program,” the White House said. More than 20,000 fellowships and grants have been awarded under this program and the US looks forward to building on these successes.