The registration forms have been made active today on the Indian embassy website, and those Indian immigrants stranded in the US, looking at ways to return back to their homeland can apply on the website and fill the form quickly before the end of the day today, by providing accurate details.

h1-b visa
The H-1B visa is one of the most popular ones for foreigners visiting the US for business or trade purpose.Reuters

How does this form help and why is it released by the Indian govt?

The Indian mission in the US and other countries have been asked to compile an entire list of Indians clamouring for repatriation in virus-hit nations across the globe. This will help the Indian government ascertain the exact number of stranded Indians in the US for now, and such measures will also be extended to other countries to bring back home Indians in foreign nations who are facing toughest times amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The Indians registered on the website will be neatly categorised depending on their circumstances and the nation's worst-hit by the coronavirus crisis. Priority will be given to those Indians first in these nations followed by other countries. They will get first seats in special repatriation flights, to include students stranded in foreign lands looking forward to assistance from the Indian government.

Considering the cases are constantly rising in the US and other parts of the world, the Indian government is maintaining a strict vigil on the rise, exploring options and deliberating strategies to bring back home the stranded Indians in the USA. Plus the Trump administration had earlier announced a 60-day period for H1B migrants to leave the US.

Indians stranded in coronavirus-hit countries

With the New York jurisdiction in itself having millions of Indians expressing willingness to return back home, but the suspension of flight operations from March 24 and nationwide lockdown imposed thereafter has left many stuck in the US.

While a petition has been made to extend the stay period to 180-days for H1B visa holders, the final decision on the extension has not been announced by the White House yet. Amid the coronavirus crisis, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recognises that nonimmigrants may have to unexpectedly remain in the United States beyond their authorised period of stay.

USCIS office in Newark, New JerseyJohn Moore/Getty Images

This means that the H1B visa migrant employees in the US may have to leave the US by mid-June possibly - the last few days to either find a better job in the US and continue their stay or pack their bags to come back home.

Strategies for evacuation and plans to bring back stranded Indians home

An official spokesperson from the Government hinted that the Middle East would be the first focus. It is formulating strategies on if the stranded citizens will be airlifted by Air India or other commercial airlines and brought to India.

Once these citizens land in India, they will be sent to quarantine centres or straight to the hospital. Despite rife speculations, there has been no clear announcement from the Government, if evacuation flights have been sent from India to the US until now.

ANI learns that the clear purpose of releasing a registration form by the Indian embassy is for informative purposes, to collect actionable data on Indian nationals willing to or eager to come back to India immediately if an opportunity is provided. The Government of India would ideally want this data/ information sheet to be filled by Indians abroad, preferably by Thursday evening.