India Abroad

From October 1, US To Initiate Deportation Of H1B Holders With Expired Visas As Per New Rule

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 3
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| September 27 , 2018 , 15:17 IST

The US, continuing with its crackdown on H-1B visas that began soon after US President Donald Trump came into office, will from October 1 implement a new rule initiating deportation process of people whose legal status to stay in America has expired, media reported on Thursday.

According to the new rule, the initiation of the deportation process will be applicable for those people whose legal status to reside in the US has expired for reasons such as denial of visa extension application or change in status, officials said.

In relief for some H-1B visa holders, the federal agency tasked with the process said that for the time being, the policy will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions.

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The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is tasked with granting visas and extensions to non-immigrants said on Wednesday that they will start an incremental approach to implement the rule from October 1.

Initially, the USCIS will issue Notices To Appear (NTA) to people whose applications regarding visa extension or changes in status have been denied. The NTA is considered to be the first step towards deportation of foreign nationals and instructs the concerned person to appear before an immigration judge.

Continuing with its earlier policy, the federal agency will continue to prioritise cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud, or national security concerns.

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"There has been no change to the current processes for issuing NTAs on these case types, and USCIS will continue to use its discretion in issuing NTAs for these cases," it said.

Those holding H-1B visas will be provided details on how they can review information regarding their period of authorised stay, check travel compliance and validate departure from the US.

Since applications of extension of H-1B visa holders have been denied in recent months, including a significant number of Indian nationals, the new rule could have a considerable impact on Indians living in the US if the issue of NTAs is expanded to other categories of visa holders.