Arré Checklist: After H-1Bs, Who Wins the Marriage Market?


Arré Checklist: After H-1Bs, Who Wins the Marriage Market?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


US visa has always given the holder some serious biodata cred, adding a solid +10 matrimonial points to the otherwise unmarketable 5’2” grooms and non-homely dulhans. And the H-1B stood above the rest. Like going out for Chinese on your dadi’s birthday, the H-1B was one of the few traits in a prospective partner that the whole family could agree upon. It gave aunties extra bragging rights at the park, and parents fond dreams of Amreekan grandkids. In case anyone was interested in the bride or groom’s opinion on moving to the US, it was usually favourable, coloured by romantic notions of New York City lifted straight from Kal Ho Naa Ho or Taxi Driver.

But lately, the marriage market has noticeably cooled toward hapless H-1Bs. The seismic ripples caused by an orange comet plopping into the White House have gone bowels-deep, and President Trump’s tough-but-confused stance on immigration has blocked up the visa pipeline from India. H-1Bs are no longer a safe bet, and the Make in India initiative now extends to locally sourced lagans.