USCIS says it's not ending H-1B visa extensions

USCIS says it's not ending H-1B visa extensions

USCIS says it's not ending H-1B visa extensions

However, a media report quoting the Pew Research Center report said that the proposed changes in H-1B visas would have a dramatic effect, particularly on India considering more than half of all H-1B visas have been awarded to Indian nationals. Considering the United States government's tough stance on foreign policy, many still believe the overall fear of losing their H-1B visa status in future could also lead to "self-deportation" of thousands of Indian workers.

The USCIS further stated that even if it had resorted to such a reinterpretation, it would not have resulted in the H-1B visa holders having to leave the United States since employers could request extensions in one-year increments instead of the usual three-year increments.

An estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders could have been deported if the administration chose to go ahead with the proposal, which was in line with President Donald Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" vision to boost manufacturing and protect local jobs for American.

Currently, there is an annual allocation of 65,000 H-1B visas in general category and another 20,000 for students from the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Last week, reports emerged that the United States was considering new regulations to prevent the extension of H-1B visas, something that is most sought after by Indian IT professionals working in the US. The US government has said that reports on the Trump administration reversing its decision under pressure were "absolutely false", and that the government had never considered such a policy change.

According to TNN article, Presently, several H-1B visa holders, who have applied for green cards, seek extension until their permanent residency applications are in process.

Credit also goes to the bipartisan effort of Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, and Rep. Kevin Yoder, a Kansas Republican, who sent a joint letter to President Donald Trump, urging him "not to deport H-1B holders awaiting permanent residency processing".

As per Nasscom's statement issued last year, two Indian companies namely TCS and Infosys together received 7,504 approved H-1B visas in financial year 2015, which is 8.8 per cent of the total approved H-1B visas during that year. We are relieved that there won't be any change in the H1-B visa extension policy.

Moreover, deporting thousands of immigrant workers would take a toll on India's IT companies whose employees are among the largest beneficiaries of the H-1B visas.

With the Department of Homeland Security trying to impose new restrictions to prevent extension of H-1B visas, techies are fearing the worst, preparing for lay-offs back in India. However, the USA government has proposed enhancing the minimum wage of H-1B visa holders to $1.30 lakh.

Though earlier the U.S. sought that they will modify the visa policy but under the pressure from India and other advocacy groups, the Trump administration budged down and refused to make such changes. "And we thank USCIS to make the right decision".

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