US to seek review of non-immigrant visas like H-1B

While, the executive order, at present, temporarily bans some immigration – notably, those who were waiting for a green card outside the US, with some exceptions carved out – a review of the non-immigrant visa programmes within 30 days of the proclamation is going to put H-1B and L visas (used for intra-company transfers) under another round of stress test.

Cheaper oil, foreign flows a tailwind for rupee

India’s rupee, among Asia’s worst-performing currencies this year, could be the fastest in the region to rally as the world restarts economic activities after the coronavirus pandemic, oil prices weaken and the US dollar eases broadly, analysts said. The partially convertible Indian rupee has lost nearly 7% so far this year, despite dollar supplying intervention.

Trump bars issue of new immigration green cards

US President Donald Trump has said that he will halt issuing of new Green Cards or legal permanent residency for the next 60 days as part of his executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the US. However, the move will not have any impact on those entering the country on a temporary basis, Trump said on Tuesday.

US oil rebounds, back in positive territory

US oil prices rebounded back above zero Tuesday, a day after futures ended in negative territory for the first time as a coronavirus-triggered collapse in demand leaves the world awash in crude. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was changing hands at $0.56 a barrel after closing at -$37.63 in New York.

US weekly jobless claims highlight eco carnage

A record 22 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits over the past month, with millions more filing claims last week, underscoring the deepening economic slump caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the labor department followed dismal data on Wednesday showing a record drop in retail sales in March and the biggest decline in factory output since 1946.

Rupee settles at all-time low of 76.87 vs dollar

The Indian rupee tanked 43 paise to settle at an all-time low of 76.87 (provisional) against the US dollar on Thursday, amid rising concerns over coronavirus-led economic slowdown. At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened weak at 76.75, and during the day lost further ground to settle at 76.87, registering a fall of 43 paise over its previous close.

Relief for Indians as US allows H-1B extension

In a big relief for thousands of stranded Indian professionals in America due to the coronavirus pandemic, the US government has decided to allow applications by H-1B visa holders for an extended stay. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

US consumer prices post largest drop in five years

The US labor department said on Friday its consumer price index dropped 0.4% last month amid a tumble in the cost of gasoline, and record decreases in hotel accommodation, apparel and airline ticket prices. That was the biggest drop since Jan 2015 and followed a 0.1% gain in Feb. In 12 months through March, the CPI increased 1.5%, the smallest advance since Feb 2019.

US economy purged 17 million jobs amid pandemic

US unemployment is rising at a jarring rate, with data on Thursday showing 17 million have lost their jobs since mid-March, as officials scramble to apply a tourniquet to stem the damage from the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Reserve launched a series of new lending programs to pump $2.3 trillion into the damaged US economy, reassuring people of a revival.

Indian American co donates 3.4m HCQ tablets

An Indian American-owned pharma firm has pledged to donate 3.4 million Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets to some of the key COVID-19 battleground states, including New York and Louisiana, joining the war against the dreaded coronavirus which by Tuesday had taken lives of more than 12,800 people in the US alone.

Aurobindo calls off $900 million Sandoz buy in US

Nearly a year and a half year after Hyderabad-based pharma major Aurobindo Pharma announced its big ticket, $900 million deal to acquire Sandoz Inc’s US generic oral solids and dermatology businesses, the company on Thursday informed the bourses that the deal has been mutually called off due to delays in getting approvals from the US Federal Trade Commission (USFTC).

Trump urged to pause H-1B visa scheme

A US body representing American technology workers has urged President Donald Trump to suspend for this year the H-1B visa programme, the most sought-after among the Indian IT professionals, to protect their interests amidst the massive layoffs due to Covid-19 pandemic. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers.

US receives 2.75 lakh H-1B registrations

A bulk of H-1B cap registrations, received by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, were for potential beneficiaries (workers) from India. Of the 2.75 lakh registrations received from sponsoring employers wish to depute or hire workers in the US, nearly 67.7% or 1.86 lakh were from India. Registrations were also filed for 36,300 (13.2%) Chinese workers.

Oil prices at 17-year lows as virus ravages world

Oil prices extended losses in Asian trade on Monday and languished at 17-year lows, with the coronavirus crisis escalating around the world and no end in sight to a vicious price war. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 5.3% to trade at $20 a barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude was off 6.5% at $23.

KLM flight with 100 Indians turned back to Amsterdam

A KLM flight was asked to return to Amsterdam after it took off for Delhi on Friday with about 100 Indians transiting back home from US and Canada. Since India has barred entry of anyone from Europe, UK and Turkey — including transit passengers from there — aviation authorities here asked the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, operating as KLM 871, to return to Amsterdam.