Tightening of the H-1B visa rules could have lead to the deportation of 7.5 lakhs Indians from the US.
Washington: The United States’ authorities has clarified on Monday that they have no plans to discontinue the extension of H-1B visa beyond six years when an applicant wait for permanent residency or green card.
Sharon Scheidhauer, spokesperson of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under the Department of Homeland Security that administers the non-immigrant, temporary worker visa programme made clear that they cannot change section 104(c) of AC-21 ( American Competitiveness of the Twenty First Century Act ), a law passed by the U.S Congress in 2000, which governs the extension of H-1B visas.
“….USCIS is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing our interpretation of section 104(c) of AC-21, which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit,” she said to the media.
On speaking to The Hindu, Jonathan Withington, chief of media relations for USCIS stated that despite changing section 104(c) it will still not force the H-1B visa holders to leave US, as they can get the one-year extension from section 106(a)-(b) of AC-21.
“Even if it were [considering changes to section 104-c], 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 AC – 21 instead,” he told The Hindu.
Relief for Indian American:
From the past 10 days many reports were been issued stating that the changes in H-1B visa would force lakhs of people to self-deport themselves from the US. As a result it had caused panic among Indian Americans who comprise a significant portion of green card applicants. Therefore, This statement came as relief for more than 7.5 lakhs Indians, who were on their verge of being self-deported.
Meanwhile, the USCIS has also made clear that in order to carry out the President’s “Buy American, Higher American” theory, they will review the H-1B visa programme, and will come up with some 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,” Withington said.