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US’ immigration reform brings cheer to Indian startups, opens gates for entrepreneurs & techies

Posted on November 25, 2014
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BENGALURU: Barack Obama will be chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, the first time a US president will grace the occasion, marking a diplomatic coup for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reflecting the rapport that he’s struck with the leader of the world’s leading superpower and its biggest economy. Obama has been invited to be the chief guest at the January 26 event, Modi tweeted on Friday, having just got back from an overseas trip during which the two leaders met.

The White House confirmation of Obama’s acceptance followed hours later.

“At the invitation of Prime Minister Modi, the President will travel to India in January 2015 to participate in the Indian Republic Day celebration in New Delhi as the Chief Guest,” the White House release said. “This visit will mark the first time a US president will have the honor of attending Republic Day, which commemorates the adoption of India’s constitution. The President will meet with the Prime Minister and Indian officials to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership.”

Earlier, Modi had tweeted: “This Republic Day, we hope to have a friend over… invited President Obama to be the 1st US President to grace the occasion as Chief Guest,” Modi said in his tweet.

The trip will be an occasion to upgrade ties to the next level after a positive tone was set during Modi’s visit to Washington and New York in September, reversing a coolingoff in ties between the two sides after the high of the George Bush-Manmohan Singh bonhomie that led to the signing of the US civil nuclear deal in 2005.

Speculation had been rife in Delhi’s corridors of power for the past month as to who would be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.While a few felt that a head of state or government of Indian origin could grace the occasion, others said in private that the decision has been left to the PM himself. Sources told ET, “Invitation for chief guests on Republic Day are extended to close friends of India and with whom Delhi wants to upgrade ties to the next level.” Experts said Modi’s surprise move to get Obama was in keeping with his initiative to invite South Asian leaders, including the Prime Minister of Pakistan, for his inaugural on May 26.

Even at the height of India-US bonhomie during the Manmohan-Bush era India had not invited an American President as the chief guest. The sweeping changes to the immigration policy in the United States, proposed by President Barack Obama, is being cheered by the Indian startup community as it will make it simpler for entrepreneurs and engineers to travel and work in American technology hubs.

Streamlining visa processes, changes in eligibility for H1-B visas for foreign entrepreneurs, faster processing of green cards for skilled individuals, and the intention to publish guidance on L-1B category are some of the proposed measures that will have a positive impact on the Indian technology industry.

“I see a deeper understanding of the condition of entrepreneurs working in the US in the announcement,” said Anshuman Bapna, chief executive officer of travel planning website MyGola.

Bapna makes regular trips to the US on his B-1 visa, and is preparing to apply for an L-1 visa as he goes into the next phase of building his company.

The proposed reforms are an executive action by President Obama, which to become permanent must be approved by the US Congress.

Industry lobby Nasscom too cheered the move, as it expects the action to positively impact Indian residents and skilled workers in the US. Tech entrepreneurs like Bapna often move to the US in search of customers and funding – both are aplenty in Silicon Valley.

“The announcement to give work permit for spouses of H1-B category visa holders was a much-needed move,” said Bapna.

“It was a real pain for a lot of entrepreneurs,” Bapna added.

Rajesh Sawhney, founder of multicity accelerator GSF, said the new reform could help a number of Indian high-tech startups set up operations in the US. “However, we await specific details of the initiative, and understand that it would take time to phase them all in,” said R Chandrashekhar, president, NASSCOM.

Obama bypassed the legislature and used his executive powers to order a massive immigration reform that eases the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants.

“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too,” said Obama in his speech on November 20.

And for United States, it becomes important to maintain a continuous inflow of skilled labour: Most of the successful Silicon Valley startups have founders who were not native to America — Elon Musk of Tesla, Sergey Brin of Google, Whatsapp’s Jan Koum are a few examples.

BENGALURU: Barack Obama will be chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, the first time a US president will grace the occasion, marking a diplomatic coup for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reflecting the rapport that he’s struck with the leader of the world’s leading superpower and its biggest economy. Obama has been invited to be the chief guest at the January 26 event, Modi tweeted on Friday, having just got back from an overseas trip during which the two leaders met.

The White House confirmation of Obama’s acceptance followed hours later.

“At the invitation of Prime Minister Modi, the President will travel to India in January 2015 to participate in the Indian Republic Day celebration in New Delhi as the Chief Guest,” the White House release said. “This visit will mark the first time a US president will have the honor of attending Republic Day, which commemorates the adoption of India’s constitution. The President will meet with the Prime Minister and Indian officials to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership.”

Earlier, Modi had tweeted: “This Republic Day, we hope to have a friend over… invited President Obama to be the 1st US President to grace the occasion as Chief Guest,” Modi said in his tweet.

The trip will be an occasion to upgrade ties to the next level after a positive tone was set during Modi’s visit to Washington and New York in September, reversing a coolingoff in ties between the two sides after the high of the George Bush-Manmohan Singh bonhomie that led to the signing of the US civil nuclear deal in 2005.

Speculation had been rife in Delhi’s corridors of power for the past month as to who would be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.While a few felt that a head of state or government of Indian origin could grace the occasion, others said in private that the decision has been left to the PM himself. Sources told ET, “Invitation for chief guests on Republic Day are extended to close friends of India and with whom Delhi wants to upgrade ties to the next level.” Experts said Modi’s surprise move to get Obama was in keeping with his initiative to invite South Asian leaders, including the Prime Minister of Pakistan, for his inaugural on May 26.

Even at the height of India-US bonhomie during the Manmohan-Bush era India had not invited an American President as the chief guest. The sweeping changes to the immigration policy in the United States, proposed by President Barack Obama, is being cheered by the Indian startup community as it will make it simpler for entrepreneurs and engineers to travel and work in American technology hubs.

Streamlining visa processes, changes in eligibility for H1-B visas for foreign entrepreneurs, faster processing of green cards for skilled individuals, and the intention to publish guidance on L-1B category are some of the proposed measures that will have a positive impact on the Indian technology industry.

“I see a deeper understanding of the condition of entrepreneurs working in the US in the announcement,” said Anshuman Bapna, chief executive officer of travel planning website MyGola.

Bapna makes regular trips to the US on his B-1 visa, and is preparing to apply for an L-1 visa as he goes into the next phase of building his company.

The proposed reforms are an executive action by President Obama, which to become permanent must be approved by the US Congress.

Industry lobby Nasscom too cheered the move, as it expects the action to positively impact Indian residents and skilled workers in the US. Tech entrepreneurs like Bapna often move to the US in search of customers and funding – both are aplenty in Silicon Valley.

“The announcement to give work permit for spouses of H1-B category visa holders was a much-needed move,” said Bapna.

“It was a real pain for a lot of entrepreneurs,” Bapna added.

Rajesh Sawhney, founder of multicity accelerator GSF, said the new reform could help a number of Indian high-tech startups set up operations in the US. “However, we await specific details of the initiative, and understand that it would take time to phase them all in,” said R Chandrashekhar, president, NASSCOM.

Obama bypassed the legislature and used his executive powers to order a massive immigration reform that eases the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants.

“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too,” said Obama in his speech on November 20.

And for United States, it becomes important to maintain a continuous inflow of skilled labour: Most of the successful Silicon Valley startups have founders who were not native to America — Elon Musk of Tesla, Sergey Brin of Google, Whatsapp’s Jan Koum are a few examples.

“With so many entrepreneurs coming out of China and India, US seems to have realised that it is a two-way street,” said Bapna.

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com

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