Relief for Indian techies, H-1B Visa extensions to continue

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H-1B Visa extensions

In a relief for Indian techies, The US Citizenship and Immigration Services on Tuesday said that the Trump administration is not considering any proposal that would force 7,50,000 H-1B visa holders Indians to deport the country.

The United States has no plans under consideration to discontinue the extension of H-1B visas beyond six years, when beneficiaries wait for permanent residency, or green card, authorities clarified on Monday. A flurry of speculative reporting on the issue over the last 10 days that said lakhs of people will be forced to self-deport from the U.S. as a result of this move had caused panic among Indian Americans who comprise a significant portion of green card applicants.

Indian-Americans today welcomed the Trump Administration’s decision of not blocking extensions to H–1B visas, saying the “devastating” move would have caused “unprecedented” brain drain and hurt American businesses.

The USCIS “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,” an official said.

The USCIS is reviewing the H-1B visa programme, and will come up with changes later this year. “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,” Mr. Withington said. But the Trump administration can change through executive action only those aspects of the H-1B programme that were effected through executive actions. The work permit for spouses of H-1B visa holders and the lottery system that selects beneficiaries of the programme every year are governed by executive decisions. The administration could suggest changes for Congress to consider and legislate, as part of its review.

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