In talks with US on new visa regime: MEA

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2021

India is engaged with the US government to increase predictability in the visa regime and minimise inconvenience to Indian nationals, the Ministry of External Affairs has said.

“We have taken note of the recent proclamations of the US government extending by three more months the current suspension of entry of certain immigrants and non-immigrants to the US,” said MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at a media briefing on Friday.

“We are engaged with the US government to increase predictability in the visa regime and to minimise inconvenience to the Indian nationals in the US or those proposing to travel to the US for bonafide reasons including the movement of Indian professionals,” he added.

This was in reaction to the Trump government’s decision to extend the freeze on H-1B visas, an employment-based, non-immigrant work visa popular with Indian IT companies, by three months till March 31, 2021. It has also now announced that it will be modifying the H-1B visa process to prefer salary and skill over lottery system.

“People-to-people relations are a vital part of the partnership between India and the US. There is recognition in the US of the fact that Indian skilled professionals have contributed to the growth of the US economy and helped the US retain its competitive edge and innovation advantage,” Srivastava added.

Ties with Sri Lanka

On the recent visit of Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar to Sri Lanka, Srivastava said that proposals in infrastructure, energy and connectivity were discussed by two sides. There were also discussions on special zones for pharmaceutical manufacturing and tourism.

“We expect to send a pharmaceutical delegation to Sri Lanka soon,” he said. India and Sri Lanka are also working on an air travel bubble arrangement, he added.

Published on January 08, 2021

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