US Considering ‘Treaty Country Status’ For India To Ease Visas


Sidakbir Singh posted on Friday, Jan 19th, 2024

A game-changing step – The US is actively considering granting India ‘Treaty Country Status’. This change has significant effects, especially in terms of exclusive permits, and marks a new era of collaboration and potential. Here, let’s know the deep facts of this revolutionary consideration –

Significance Of Treaty Country Status

‘Treaty Country Status’ is a special designation signifying heightened cooperation between nations (USA and India). Granting this status to India has the potential to build stronger bilateral relations among these two countries, as highlighted by the Hindustan Times.

The Indian government has presented proposals for the “treaty country status” at the 14th Trade Policy Forum (TPF), aiming to strengthen economic and technological partnerships between the two nations. If India achieves this status, it will join approximately 100 other countries enjoying similar opportunities, such as Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Exclusive Visas

Exclusive visas are on the horizon, offering streamlined access for various purposes, including business, education, and tourism. This development could simplify the entry process, making it more efficient for travelers between the United States and India.

E1 Visa – Treaty trader 

  • The E1 visa is intended for treaty traders who are involved in significant trade between the United States and their home country.
  • It allows individuals to temporarily enter the U.S. to conduct trade activities.

 E2 Visa – Treaty Investor

  • The E2 visa is for treaty investors who make a substantial investment in a U.S. business.
  • It allows investors and their employees to enter the U.S. temporarily.

Additionally, the Indian government is advocating for enhancements in visa regulations for Indians with H1-B visas in the United States. The suggestions involve making H-1B visa renewals permanent for visa holders and their families, to ease visa-related hurdles for Indian immigrants in the U.S. Currently, the U.S. is testing a pilot program for the domestic renewal of H-1B visas, with a capped quota of 10,000 for Indian applicants.

Further Details On E1 & E2 Visas

The Indian plan outlines a measure that will enable Indians to obtain E1 (treaty trader) or E2 (treaty investment) visas. Both of these are non-immigrant visas, which means they do not lead to permanent residency or a green card, but they do allow for temporary travel to the United States as long as the American government recognizes the traveler’s country as a “treaty nation”.

The Indian government has put forth proposals for the “treaty country status” during the 14th Trade Policy Forum (TPF), steered by US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal. This initiative is designed to promote economic and technological alliances by easing the mobility of highly skilled professionals.

Explore our informative Guide on U.S. Visas for Indian Citizens to gain in-depth insights into visa-related information.

Business & Investment Implications

The prospect for ‘Treaty Country Status’ opens avenues for enhanced business collaboration and investment opportunities. Entrepreneurs and investors may benefit from smoother international travel processes, fostering increased economic ties.

The future of bilateral commerce between India and the United States is bright after seven pending disputes in the World Commerce Organization (WTO) were successfully resolved through mutual negotiations rather than a legal process. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s June 2023 visit to the United States resulted in the resolution of six issues, with the final remaining conflict resolved in September 2023 during President Biden’s visit to India for the G20 summit. This highlights the possibility of a better and more effective trading partnership between the two countries.

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