H-1B Visa: Relief to 7.5 Lakh Indians

H-1B Visa: Relief to 7.5 Lakh Indians

In a major relief to over 7,50,000 Indians, Donald Trump administration has 'dropped' the plan to tighten H-1B Visa rules. There were reports that the Trump government was considering tightening H-1B visa rules and end extensions for H-1B visa holders, which could have led to the deportation of 7,50,000 Indians to India.

Amidst reports that these kinda plans would drastically affect tech giants such as Google, Apple and even may court a legal row, the United States has clarified that there is no change in H-1B extension policy.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicated that there is no end of extensions for H-1B holders.

An official in the USIS said that it is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing interpretation of section certain language in Section 104 C of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) statute that states that USCIS may grant the extensions.

Responding to the speculations, the official added that the USCIS was never considering such a policy change. He said adding that "any suggestion that USCIS changed its position because of pressure is absolutely false."

This facilitates extensions for H-1B holders beyond the 6 year limit.

"Even if it were, such a change would not likely result in these H-1B visa holders having to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under section 106(a)-(b) of AC21 instead," Jonathan Withington, Chief of Media Relations at the USCIS, said in a statement.

"The agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President's Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, including a thorough review of employment based visa programmes," Withington said.

The USCIS has a Congressional mandate to issue 65,000 H- 1B visas in general category and another 20,000 for those applicants having higher education -- masters and above -- from US universities in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The H-1B programme offers temporary US visas that allow companies to hire highly skilled foreign professionals working in areas with shortages of qualified American workers.

Since taking office last January, the Trump administration has been talking about cracking down on the H- 1B visa scheme.