Washington: In a big relief to Indian professionals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Indian professionals can renew their work visas without travelling abroad. "America's new consulates will be opened in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. It has now been decided that the H1B visa renewal can be done in the US itself," PM Modi said while addressing the Indian diaspora at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC.
The move is part of a people-to-people initiative and comes after a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Modi and US President Joe Biden.
US 'in-country' renewable H-1B visas
The United States authorities announced that they will introduce 'in-country' renewable H-1B visas as part of the people-to-people initiative to smoothen the process of H-1B visa renewal for several Indians who are working in the US on a H-1B visa.
India is going to open a new consulate in Seattle this year. Apart from this, Indian Consulates will be opened in 2 more cities in America.
"Together we are not just forming policies and agreements, we are shaping lives, dreams and destinies," said PM Modi.
This comes a day after the two countries welcomed an announcement by the US Department of State that it would launch a pilot to adjudicate domestic renewals of certain petition-based temporary work visas later this year.
India-US Joint Statement
"The leaders welcomed an announcement by the US Department of State that it would launch a pilot to adjudicate domestic renewals of certain petition-based temporary work visas later this year, including for Indian nationals, with the intent to implement this for an expanded pool of H1B and L visa holders in 2024 and eventually broadening the program to include other eligible categories," the India-US joint statement said.
The leaders affirmed that the movement of professional and skilled workers, students, investors and business travelers between the countries contributes immensely to enhancing bilateral economic and technological partnerships.
While acknowledging the important steps taken to augment processing of visa applications, The leaders noted in the joint statement, "the pressing need to further expedite this process. The leaders also directed officials to identify additional mechanisms to facilitate travel for business, tourism, and professional and technical exchanges between the two countries".
Mary Millben performed national anthem
Award-winning international singer Mary Millben performed the National Anthem of India at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC.
Overwhelmed with the presence of the Indian community, PM Modi said, "In a way, you have charted out the full map of India in this hall. I can see people from all corners of India here. It seems that a mini India has turned up." PM Modi's historic State to the US has begun a new and glorious journey of mutual relations between India and America.
"In these 3 days, a new and glorious journey of India and the US relations has begun. This new journey is of our convergence on global strategic issues, of our cooperation for Make in India Make for the World. Be it technology transfer and manufacturing cooperation or increasing coordination in the industrial supply chain, both nations are taking strong steps towards a better future. The decision of General Electric Company to manufacture fighter planes in India will prove to be a milestone for India's defence sector," said PM Modi.
Defence Industrial cooperation to deepen ties
The Defence industrial cooperation roadmap will deepen the partnership between the two nations.
"During my visit, companies like Google Micron, Applied Materials and others have announced to make huge investments in India. All these announcements will help to create employment in India. The Artemis Accord signed between India and the US will provide several opportunities in space research. With NASA, India will send astronauts to space. That is why I said 'Sky is not the limit'" said PM Modi.
PM Modi said that US President Joe Biden and he had a lot of discussions in the last 3 days and said that the US President has always tried to take the India-US partnership to another level.
"I want to thank you all for showing such a beautiful image of 'Ek Bharat, Sreshth Bharat', in America. The amount of love I am getting in the US is wonderful, all the credit goes to the people of this country. President Biden and I had a lot of discussions in the last 3 days. I can say that he is an experienced politician. He has always tried to take the India-US partnership to another level," said PM Modi.
Companies like Google, Micron to invest in India
During PM Modi's visit, big companies like Micron, Google, and Applied Materials have also announced the investment in India. Micron's USD 2.5 billion investment in the semiconductor sector is going to link India to the world semiconductor chain.
"During my visit, many big companies announced to make their investment in India. Micron company's investment of USD 2.5 billion investment in the semiconductor sector will connect India with the world's semiconductor chain," said PM Modi.
"The USD 400 million investment for semiconductor equipment in India by Applied Materials will help build a semiconductor product ecosystem in India. Google is also going to open its Global Fintech Center in India. Boeing has also announced USD 100 billion investment in India," said PM Modi.
Google will open Global Fintech centre in Gujarat
This new journey of Make in India-Make for the World is about India-US cooperation. Both countries are taking steps towards a better strong country.
"The decision to make fighter-engine plane will prove to be a milestone for India's defence sector. America will also share 'Mutual Trust' with this agreement," said PM Modi.
Google will also be going to open their Global Fintech centre in India. Besides, Boeing has announced to make an investment of USD 100 billion in India.
"All these agreements and announcements will create jobs and encourage high-technology manufacturing and innovation," said PM Modi.