Relief for Indians as Trump drops H-1B visa proposal

Published: 01/10/2018


Trump administration mulling to deny visa extensions to H-1B holders

The Trump administration on Mondayannounced no regulatory change would come into effect that would force H-1B visa holders waiting for their Green Cards to leave theUnited States.

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The announcement comes as a major relief to an estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders who were at risk of deportation if the proposal to end granting extension to visa was accepted.

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Earlier, the Trump administration was mulling to deny visa extensions to H-1B holders beyond the maximum permissible period of six years, while they waited for permanent residency

"No regulatory change is likely that would force H-1B visa holders to leave theUnited Statesby changing our interpretation of section 104(c) of AC-21, which provides for H-1B extensions 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," said Jonathan Withington, Chief of Media Relations at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that oversees H-1Bs, in a statement to Hindustan Times.

Withington also said, "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 programs."

Immigration Voice, an advocacy group campaigning for a better deal for H-1B workers, mostly from India, said on its Facebook page, "We are ECSTATIC to share this Breaking News. 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. This is a GREAT development. And we thank USCIS to make the right decision."


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