Americans refuse to fly back home,opt to stay in India. But Indians are in trouble in US.
The United States is busy arranging special flights to take its citizens back home from India but a majority of them don’t want to get on board. They’re choosing to stay where they are but Indians living and working in America need visa extensions to stay on.
America is the worst affected country by the coronavirus pandemic so much so that Americans living in India don’t want to go back home. The US is running special flights to take stranded Americans back, 1,300 people have been repatriated. Five additional flights have been scheduled this week. More than 24,000 American nationals are still in India, but most of them are reluctant to return. The American Embassy called about 800 US citizens in India only 10 wanted to fly back to America.
The pandemic has felt uncertain for H-1B visa holders especially those whose visas are about to expire and whose visa extensions have been delayed. They fear losing their work status, many of them are healthcare professionals doctors researchers and nurses they are on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus. They are risking their own lives to provide treatment to Americans yet they don’t have any guarantees about their own livelihood. More than 300,000 Indians are technology professionals working in the US on H-1B visas. They don’t have any clarity on whether they work visas will be extended.
If their employer terminates their contract they need to find a new job within 60 days which will be near impossible right now. The pandemic has induced an economic downturn. Jobs are being lost. American employers cut a record 701,000 jobs in March.
A confirmed report says US companies have been asked to terminate services of H-1B visa holders. The Indian government has been urging the US to extend H-1B visas and other visas. It is logistically impossible to fly all Indians in America back home right now.
Two weeks back the US received nearly 275,000 requests for H-1B visas, three times more than the mandated 85,000 more than 67% of those visa requests were from Indians.
India is not only providing hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to the US but also a safe shelter to foreign citizens who remain on soil. They can choose to be here without the fear of being harassed but life for Indians in America during this pandemic can quickly take a turn for the worse.
America needs to find a way to return the favor.