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US may extend H-1B visa grace period to 180 days

Published: 03/15/2023

The grace period for a US H-1B visa may soon extend to 180 days from 60 days. Members of the US President's Advisory Commission for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities discussed and approved extending the grace period to facilitate immigrant workers in the country on Tuesday.

The recommendations of the committee will now be sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

The case for extending the grace period was made by tech executive Ajay Bhutoria. He told Business Today the USCIS was most likely to accept the President’s Advisory Committee’s recommendation.

The tech executive noted that the current grace period of 60 days was inadequate when it came to finding a new job amid other bureaucratic hurdles. 

He explained, “The current 60-day grace period presents numerous hurdles, including finding a new job within a tight timeframe, complex paperwork for transferring H1-B status, and delays in processing at USCIS. As a result, many H1-B workers are forced to leave the country, which could result in a loss of skilled labour for the United States.”

He added that the extension would help these highly skilled workers remain in the US as there would be more time for them to find a job. He also explained that these highly skilled workers were valuable to the economy. 

He said, “The extension would also provide affected employees with more time to navigate the complex and time-consuming process of finding new employment opportunities and transferring their H1-B status.”

The second recommendation by Bhutoria was to grant employment authorization documents (EAD) and travel documents to individuals with approved I-140 applications.

An approved I-140 petition implies a step forward in getting the permanent resident status in the US.

“The recommendation to grant EADs to these individuals would provide them with increased job opportunities, improved job security, the ability to start a business, flexibility on being home, invest and build life in the US, travel freely without worry of visa stamping or appointment, mental peace, better health, and the ability to stay connected with family members,” Bhutoria added.

Read More: Businesstoday

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