Relief for Indian techies, United States says no change in H-1B extension

Relief for H-1B visa holders! Trump administration rejects deportation plan reports

Moneycontrol had earlier reported that the H-1B visa policy change, if implemented, will in anyway have a short-term impact on India.

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.

In his bid to stay true to his campaign promise of "Buy American, Hire American", boost manufacturing and protect local jobs for Americans, US President Donald Trump is considering new regulations aimed at preventing the extension of H-1B visas, predominantly used by Indian IT professionals.

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.

Guest worker H-1B visa holders in the USA, including more than half million from India, can breathe easy - at least for one year at a time.

PTI reports that 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 from U.S. universities in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Though earlier the United States 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.

Commenting on the the development, Tech Mahindra Ltd Vice Chairman Vineet Nayyar said the resumption of fast processing of H-1B work visas by the USCIS is a very positive development.

For Indians, that wait could stretch for years, given the massive backlog caused by the system of per-country annual cap on the number of permanent residencies - by one estimate it would take an Indian 70 years to get there, at today's rate of clearance. The exemption, as explained in the congressional record, "enables these foreign nationals to remain in H-1B status until they are able to receive an immigrant visa and adjust their status in the United States, thus limiting the disruption to American businesses".

The change would force all Indians, not holding green card or have applied for a green card, to leave the US.

The change in the visa policy would have affected China mostly after India. "Given that there is a real problem of shortage of skilled professionals in the US, any disruptive move will be detrimental for both India and the US", Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar had said. "And we thank USCIS to make (for making) the right decision", it said.

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