Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Facing pressure, Trump administration backs off proposed 'draconian' H-1B visa rules

Relief for H-1B visa holders! Trump administration rejects deportation plan reports Facing pressure, Trump administration backs off proposed 'draconian' H-1B visa rules
Ellis Copeland | 09 January, 2018, 12:25

The statement by the USA department follows reports that the Trump administration was considering imposing restrictions on providing extensions to H1-B visa holders.

On Dec. 30, news reports indicated that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was drafting a policy that would curb the indefinite extension for H-1B visa holders on the green-card route, forcing them to return home.

Jonathan Withington, Chief of Media Relations at the USCIS said in a statement that even if it was considering a regulatory change, it wouldn't mean these H-1B visa holders will have to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under section 106 (a)-(b) of AC21. There were further rumours that Donald Trump administration was pondering over putting an end to the visa extensions for H-1B holders. "The agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the US President's Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, including a thorough review of employment based visa programmes", Withington said. The move potentially aimed at stopping thousands of foreign workers from keeping their H1-B visas while their green card app;ocatopms are pending.

Reportedly, this reversal took place keeping in consideration the harsh reaction from the business community.

However, USCIS denied ever considering a policy change such as this and also claimed that any suggestion that it changed its position due to pressure is false.

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Several Indians and industry leaders had also raised a strong objection to the proposal last week, saying the move could equally harm the USA, which benefitted from the Indian workforce immensely. An estimated 70 per cent of these visas go to Indians - hired mostly by IT companies.

It is a non-immigrant visa that allows USA companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

It added: "USCIS has announced to us that it is retracting its policy to deny all H-1B visa through (beyond) year 6 based on section 104".

"It would tremendously be a bad policy to tell highly-skilled individuals who are applying for permanent residency and have been working in the US for several years that they are no longer welcome", a US Chamber of Commerce spokesperson said on January 06.

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