The US economy hasn’t looked this bright in a long time. Some even say it is at its strongest. And this means that things are really looking up for its people, its working class in particular. The job market is fertile. And unemployment rates are comfortably low. Minimum wage has gone up. And average income has increased as well. Millennials are looking to settle down…and in a big way! For now, they can afford to. However, all of these classifications of people also includes the immigrant population that are facing contrary effects. And they have been in the news lately in a big way as well, thanks to the Trump administration and their resolve to reduce immigration in all its forms, legal and illegal.
The future of many work-related visa holders like H1-B and their dependents, H4 lies in limbo as the US Congress decides their fate. While a lot of the H1-B exporting companies from India like Infosys, Mahindra Tech and Wipro have begun recruiting locally in the US itself, the foreign workers already here are facing a lot of uncertainty.
Among some of the unknown benefits that NRIs can avail of is offered by the State of California wherein California residents can avail of six weeks of paid (70% of their salary and the remaining 30%, if the worker is from San Francisco) family leave to care for a sick parent, grand-parent or sibling in India. India as one of the largest suppliers of these work visa holders is doing their own bit to facilitate an easier process for different things catering to non-resident Indians (NRIs). Some of the initiatives specifically for NRIs on-road today are:
Saanjh Kendras– more than 100 grievance cells called Saanjh Kendras or service centers have been set up under the aegis of the State Police department of Punjab. Run by a police-public committee these are set up at all police, district and commissionerate headquarters and at 114 sub-divisional levels in the whole State. These accept and address all complaints from a NRI who may be dealing with issues that cannot be solved from a foreign country. This facilitates convenience and saves time.
Global NRI Center– One of the biggest banks in India, State Bank of India has recently initiated a Global NRI center that will act as a one stop customer service solution for all NRI banking related services. This would cover NRI wealth management, SBI Intelligent Assist, free post box service, SBIMingle for NRI’s, and Remittance facility for US based customers. This intends to modernize and de-risk remittance transfers for non-resident diaspora of India.
NRI Redressal CampsSome state governments also have periodical camps for NRIs that allow them to address individual grievances. On-the-spot solutions are given for issues faced by NRIs by the police and civil administration deployed at the venue. Further directives are meted out for issues and complaints that can’t be fixed there and then.
Redressal of abandoned bridesAll NRI marriages have to be registered with the Women & Child Development Ministry within 48 hours. New brides who are abandoned by their NRI husbands now have the option of reporting it to the local government agencies with a government aid of $4,000. Once the courts determined that the NRI husband really did abandon his new bride without any monetary support or intention of taking her with him, his property could be seized and his passport will be cancelled besides being branded a legal offender, if he does not respond to legal summons.
RERAThe Real Estate Regulatory Authority regulates real estate purchase for NRIs. They are able to have more transparent, timely and efficient system when it comes to buying property back home in India. Rules like financial disclosures and timely delivery of purchased real estate makes it easier for NRIs to Invest in India.
While things are getting tougher in the US for some of the Indian diaspora, India is certainly stepping up the game in order to help them out in their homeland.