ITServe Leadership Welcomes H-1B Visa Renewal Program Benefitting IT Professionals

Featured & Cover ITServe Leadership Welcomes H 1B Visa Renewal Program Benefitting IT Professionals

ITServe Alliance, with an active membership of 2,200 + members who are small & medium-sized prestigious IT service companies, with similar interests across the United States, has expressed its overwhelming support for the new U.S. State Department’s Pilot Domestic Visa Renewal Program, limited to H1B Visas, which is launched in December of this year, mainly benefiting Information Technology professionals.

The pilot initiative by the U.S. State Department aims to alleviate long wait times for visa appointments, initially issuing 20,000 visas to foreign nationals already in the US in the IT sector with their significant skilled workforce presence.

Highlights of the H-1B Visa Renewal Program:

> The Pilot Visa Renewal Program aims to have around 20,000 work visa renewals, constituting approximately 10% of the anticipated 583,420 H-1B visa holders.

> The program will reduce the waiting period, ease the process of renewals, and eradicate the need for individuals to go back to their home country for appointments.

> Presently, visa applicants must wait for an average period of 130 days for appointments in their home country. Moreover, individuals are restricted from traveling abroad until their visa has been renewed every three years.

> The streamlined renewal process also intends to free up valuable time for US missions abroad to concentrate on new candidates.

> A formal notice in the U.S. Federal Register will be published this month and it will detail the procedures, requirements, and guidelines for the first round of applicants, covering 20,000 cases from December to February. This will pave the way for the State Department’s plan to extend the program for more employment categories in 2024.

Lobby Day ITServeIn the past few years, ITServe leadership has continuously reiterated the need for a Domestic Visa Renewal Program with the US Congress and Department of State officials. ITServe has expressed gratitude and appreciation to Department of State for listening to its request and now bringing back this program.

“The U.S. needs to maintain its leadership in technology and innovation,” Vinay Mahajan, ITServe Alliance President said. “The U.S. has a large skills gap – availability of workers vs the openings for talent in the IT sector. We need the brightest minds from all over the world to keep our wide lead in technology and innovation.This new initiative is a good step to achieve this goal. ”

A major objective of ITServe has been to educate lawmakers and the larger American community, using digital and traditional methods on the benefits of favorable immigration programs to businesses and eliminate misconceptions by meeting, collaborating, and lobbying with Congressmen and Senators to work together and help write and amend laws that are helpful to ITServe community.

Vinod Babu Uppu, ITServe Governing Board Chair said, “I want to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the hundreds of ITServe members, who continue to advocate with their local Lawmakers on behalf of ITServe, and make our voices heard on the corridors of power.”

H-1Bs are temporary, nonimmigrant visas for foreign workers with at least a bachelor’s degree, and they often go to technology workers. Currently, the number of H-1B visas is limited to 65,000 each year, although there are an additional 20,000 available to workers who have a master’s degree or higher from a US university. Enhancing the current H1-B CAP limits – from 65,000 to 130,000 per year has been a major area where ITServe has placed its efforts in recent years.

Lobby Day 2ITServe is aware that H-1B visa holders play a critical role in bolstering the U.S. economy, fostering innovation, and enriching the fabric of American society through their skills, contributions, and diverse backgrounds, and knowledge to American workplaces. They facilitate knowledge transfer and skills development by engaging in research and development activities, particularly in STEM fields, which contribute to scientific advancements and technological progress.

H-1B visa holders, possessing specialized skills and expertise in fields like STEM, which are vital for American companies to stay competitive in the global market, are a highly skilled foreign workers pool that brings numerous benefits to the United States. They fill in critical skill gaps in the labor market, contributing to economic growth and innovation, thus leading to increased productivity and competitiveness in various industries, by creating new job opportunities by starting businesses and driving entrepreneurship.

High-Skilled Immigration Reform for Employment (HIRE) Act, introduced by US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois covers the above increase. The Bill would strengthen U.S. competitiveness by helping to close the skills gap – the space between the skills required for jobs that employers need to fill, and the skills possessed by current prospective employees.

Lobby Day 3ITServe leadership believes that immigration laws are becoming more inclusive, which is a positive development with a commitment to easing restrictions on lawful immigrants. The evolving landscape aims to create a more accessible and accommodating environment for skilled professionals seeking opportunities in the United States.

“ITServe Alliance will continue to support and advocate for immigration reforms that will help America maintain its tech leadership in the world,” said Siva Moopanar, Director of ITServe Alliance Policy Advocacy Committee (PAC).

Founded in 2010, ITServe’s vision has been to empower local communities by creating, retaining, and fostering employment opportunities within the United States. Moreover, ITServe is committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and actively contributing to local communities nationwide, particularly in the realm of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. For more details, please visit: www.itserve.org

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