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Indian graduates in tech sector remain eligible for H-1B visa

Indian students can still apply for the H-1B visa - but their spouses may not be as lucky. Source: Shutterstock

There will be no changes to the H-1B visa for Indian graduates in the US technology industry, for now, says Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in New Delhi.

“Every country like India and the US makes its visa policy to ensure employment opportunities are guaranteed to the citizens of the country — that’s a sovereign decision that every country has to make,” MaryKay Carlson, the Deputy Chief of Mission said at a recent press conference.

“The US has the most free and open immigration system in the world. Every administration looks at immigration to make it better,” Carlson added, according to The Hindu.

“As of today, there is no change in the H-1B visa policy.” 

Seventy-five percent of Indian students in the US were following STEM programmes in 2016, according to the US Embassy . With 186,000 Indian students studying in the country, this announcement reassures soon-to-be graduates that post-study opportunities are still intact.

The statement comes a week after the US State Department announced Chinese nationals in the tech sector would be limited to a year-long visa; a reported attempt to protect US intellectual property.

Carlson reiterated that Trump’s government values the education link between India and the US as part of the ‘people-to-people contract’ between these two countries, and it will continue to be nurtured.

Tech graduates from India still have good post-study options, but things might get harder for their spouses. Source: Shutterstock

The fate of H-1B visa holders’ spouses from India is not as clear-cut, despite representing 93 percent of H-4 work permit holders, which allows spouses of those with H-1B visas to work within the US.

Trump’s government has launched a review on its allocation which could lead to it being revoked, according to The Hindu.

“We are trying to save these visas from all three directions…We are talking to the White House; we are talking to the State Administration, we are talking to Congressmen, we are talking to senators,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at the press conference.

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