NEW DELHI: In a move that could benefit thousands of Indian techies in US, America is now planning to resume the process of domestic visa revalidation in certain visa categories like H-1B and L1.
Until 2004, certain categories of non-immigrant visas, particularly the H-1B, could be renewed or stamped inside the US.
After that, for the renewal of these visas, in particular, those on H-1B, the foreign tech workers have to go out of the country, mostly to their own country to get the H-1B extension stamped on their passport, PTI reported.Under the pilot project, the professionals will be able to get the stamping done within US.
Until now, restamping was only allowed at a US consulate.
This was a major inconvenience for foreign guest workers and also for their employees, particularly at a time when the visa wait time is more than 800 days or more than two years.
The much-sought-after H-1B visas are issued for three years at a time. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
Earlier, amid massive layoffs in the American tech sector that have resulted in a large number of Indian professionals being jobless, two Indian-American organisations launched an online petition urging President Joe Biden to extend the grace period of H-1B visas holders from two months to a year.
This means that once fired from a job, a foreign tech worker on H-1B visas would have one year to find a new job instead of the existing duration of 60 days, after which they have to leave the country.