New Delhi: Just days after external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said India is in touch with the US administration to “save” both the H1-B and H-4 visas, a senior US diplomat in New Delhi said on Wednesday that there have been “no big changes” in the H-1B programme and “nothing new” on the H-4 visa policy.
“There have been no big changes in the H-1B programme and nothing new on H-4,” US deputy chief of mission (DCM) in Delhi MaryKay L. Carlson was quoted by news agencies as saying. She also reportedly said that granting employment visa and work permits is the sovereign decision of a country.
The comments were apparently made at a function to mark ‘Student visa day’, an event to celebrate higher education ties between India and the United States. The mission also dedicated the day to student visa applicants who have enrolled for higher studies in different US universities. The US Embassy in New Delhi and the consulate general of Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, welcomed over 4,000 Indian students, who applied for visas to study in the US, according to news agency reports.
Ms Swaraj had said last month, “This is not just for H-4; I am also talking of H1-B visa as well. We are making a three-pronged effort to save these visas. We are talking to the White House, we are talking to the (US) state administration, and we are also talking to (US) Congressmen .... We are trying our best to save H1-B visas, H4 visas. But America is a sovereign country. Ultimately they have to decide. How successful we will be, will be decided in the future. But I assure the country from this platform that we would not spare any effort.”
According to reports, more than 1,86,000 Indian students were enrolled in US institutions for higher education in 2017, more than double the number from a decade ago and a 12 per cent increase from the year before. India is the second leading place of origin for students coming to the US....