The Smithsonian Institution recently unveiled a new digital exhibition, “H-1B,” to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the H-1B visa in the United States. Following the success of the Smithsonian’s “Beyond Bollywood” exhibition, the new H-1B exhibition aims to explore the personal visa experiences of Indian and Asian American immigrants.
The exhibition is the work of 17 Indian and Asian American artists whose immigration experiences have served as inspiration for the exhibition, featuring a variety of emotions supposedly representative of the artists’ individual experiences of immigrating to and living in the United States.
The H-1B Visa was created and introduced by the United States Immigration Act of 1990 to allow highly skilled people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to work temporarily in the United States. Today, more than 230,000 people apply for just 65,000 H-1B visas available through the H-1B lottery each year. The Smithsonian’s H-1B exhibit focuses on the lives of those hoping to come to the US on H-1B status as well as the emotional, sociological, and cultural drain on those that are part of the journey, specifically spouses on H4 visas.
The H-1B and H4 visas give many foreign nationals an opportunity to achieve the “American Dream,” which for many remains an elusive and culturally draining experience. All of these emotions, experiences, and stories are portrayed in the H-1B exhibition.
View the H-1B Exhibition
The digital exhibition started November 29, 2015 and may be viewed online on the Google Cultural Institute by clicking here.
The Smithsonian Institution also encourages anyone who has H-1B and H4 visa experiences of their own to share their stories using the hashtag #MyH1Bstory.
To view the past online exhibit, “Beyond Bollywood,” click here.
To learn more about the H-1B visa, visit our H-1B visa section.