Indians relieved as U.S. rethinks H1B visa rule change


The move to end extension of H-1B visas would be "bad policy" and was contrary to the goals of a merit-based immigration system, the US Chamber of Commerce had said a few days ago. When the reports first became pubic, there was a stir among the Indian's and other people who have been working overseas and who are not the permanent citizens of the state.

An announcement is expected shortly from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which runs the programme, according to Immigration Voice, an advocacy group that has been campaigning for a better deal for H-1B visa-holders from India, who have to wait the longest for their Green Card because of the system of annual country-cap.

Even if such an action wasn't taken, the Trump Government had faced severe from politicians and other, industrial officials who objected the thought of such decisions. Reps. Kavin Yoder, a Kansas Republican, and Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat from Huwaii, had also sent a letter to the US Present Donald Trump saying the move could prove to be harmful in terms of India's relation with the US and the Indian workers contribution to the overall US economy.

"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. The reduction in staff back home has been a direct fallout of measures being taken to restrict the H-1B visa in the United States, including a recent proposal to end extension of such visas for people waiting for green cards.

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 - masters and above - from US universities in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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Usually, as H1-B visa is granted for a period of three years and an additional extension of three months after which the visa holder has to return back to his home country.

McClatchy reports that this reassurance comes after the business community sharply rebuked the potential policy change, though USCIS denies that claim.

Editor's Note: This is the first in a three-part series on the proposed change in H-1B visa regulation and its impact on India's IT industry, its employees and the future of offshore projects, particularly in the US. This is a GREAT development.

The move had sent a wave of panic coursing through the community of H-1B workers here from India, a large number of whom were employed with some of America's top IT companies such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google and other sectors - Green Card sponsorship comes mostly, only actually, from USA companies. "And we thank USCIS to make the right decision". The US companies hire Indian tech talent paying $125,000 to $150,000 per year.