Washington, September 25
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his first-ever in-person meeting with President Joe Biden raised a number of issues involving the Indian community in America, including access for Indian professionals in the US and speaking about the H-1B visas, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said.
Modi described as "outstanding" his first bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with US President Joe Biden who said the Indo-US relationship is destined to be "stronger, closer and tighter”.
The prime minister and his counterparts - Scott Morrison of Australia and Japan's Yoshihide Suga – also attended the meeting of Quad leaders hosted by US President Biden in the US capital on Friday.
“He (Modi) spoke of the issue of getting access for Indian professionals to the United States. In that context he mentioned H-1B visa,” Shringla told reporters at a news conference on Friday.
The most sought-after H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
“He also spoke of the fact that many Indian professionals who work here contribute to Social Security. The return of those contributions in the United States is something that affects the number of Indian workers,” Shringla said.
A fact sheet issued by the White House later said that the United States was proud to have issued a record 62,000 visas to Indian students so far in 2021. The nearly 200,000 Indian students in the United States contribute USD 7.7 billion annually to the US economy. PTI
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