‘Indians can renew H-1B visa without leaving US’: Govt. announces new pilot project

USA recently announced a pilot project that will provide huge benefits to the IT professionals in India

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USA recently announced a pilot project that will provide huge benefits to the IT professionals in India. Under this, H-1B visa will now be renewed in the US only for the first time in two decades.  In a statement on Monday, the State Department said the pilot programme will accept applications from January 29, 2024, through April 1, 2024, or when all application slots are filled, whichever comes first.


According to news agency PTI, under the pilot project, America has started the revalidation of non-sticky visas from January 29, 2024. It will run till April 1, 2024. The State Department said the pilot programme is voluntary and it will allow approximately 4,000 applications each week, with 2,000 for applicants whose prior H-1B visas were issued by its diplomatic missions Canada, and another 2,000 for applicants whose prior H-1B visas were issued by US embassies and consulates in India. During his visit to America in June 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that people with H1B visas will no longer have to go anywhere else to renew their work visas. These will be renewed in America only.


Actually, till 2004, H-1B visas were renewed in America only. But after 2004, migrant workers working in America had to return to their home country to renew it. But under this new pilot project, H-1B visas will be renewed in the US again. This means that no migrant workers will have to go to their country to get it renewed.


What is H-1B?

H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows American companies to hire foreign professionals for positions requiring specialized technical skills. Through this visa, companies in the technology sector recruit thousands of employees from countries like India and China every year.


H-1B visa is usually issued to those people who are associated with a particular profession (such as IT professionals, architecture, health professionals, etc.). Only those professionals who are offered a job can get this visa meaning it completely depends on the employer. That means, if the employer fires you and another employer does not offer you a job, the visa will expire.


According to US Parliament rules, 65 thousand H-1B visas are issued in a year. At the same time, 20 thousand additional visas are issued for foreign students who have completed higher studies in STEM subjects from an American university.