US-India Strategic Partnership Forum President and CEO Mukesh Aghi issued the following statement on the recent suspension of H1-Bs and other work visas:

June 23, 2020

Coming on the heels of the COVID crisis, the suspension of the non-immigrant visa program is a big blow to the US industry and will undoubtedly impact the already fragile economic recovery process here in the US. It also has the potential to do permanent damage to America’s reputation of attracting the best and the brightest talent.

In today’s uncertain economic times, stability and predictability in the non-immigrant visa programs will ensure that businesses can operate with the continuity they need to meet their obligations and contribute to America’s economic strength, innovation, and competitiveness. Temporary workers add tremendous value to the US economy, bringing necessary skills and expertise to supplement the US workforce. They add to America’s competitiveness, not detract from it. Temporary workers also contribute to the local economies they work and reside in by spending in local stores and paying taxes.

Entrepreneurial immigration in the US-India corridor creates win-win opportunities for both countries. In a recent survey, a sample of 12 Indian-born startups showed they created 634 high-paying jobs in the United States, and over 6,200 jobs worldwide. For every H1/ L1 visa issued to these startups, they created 40 jobs in the United States at a median income of $175,000.

We therefore, urge the US administration to strengthen the program by increasing the number allotted visas and tightening the existing loopholes in the program.


Sukanya Sen