India Abroad

Big Relief! No Change In H-1B Visa Rules Risking Deportation Of 7.5 Lakh Indians From US

| January 9 , 2018 , 14:33 IST

The United States on Tuesday announced that they were not considering a regulatory change in the H-1B visa policy which could have resulted in the mass deportation of 7.5 lakh Indians.

Initial reports had suggested that the US was considering an adjustment to the H-1B policy that granted extensions to the visa if the visa holders had been accepted for permanent residency 'Green Card'. The reports were met with backlash in India, as the change in policy could have resulted in the deportation of nearly 7.5 lakh Indians.

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The US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it was 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 104C of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) statute that states that USCIS may grant the extensions".

Chief of Media Relations at the USCIS Jonathan Withington clarified that even if the change in policy was adopted, it would not have resulted in mass deportation.

"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," Withington said.

US President Donald Trump since coming into office has been encouraging a "Buy American, Hire American" tightening the noose on H-1B visas that are issued to foreign workers for a period of 3-6 years, and are sometimes converted into permanent residency permits.