The earlier reports suggesting that US administration is working on strengthening the H-1B visa policy has now been cleared out with the latest revelation by the US lawmakers. The Trump administration has clarified that no changes or extension on the visa policy are being considered that could lead to the deportation of foreign nationals residing in US on H-1B visas.
The US lawmakers have asserted that H-1B visa holders drive innovation which ultimately strengthens the American economy. This implies that 7, 50,000 Indians who are residing in US on such visa policy are no longer subjected to any deportation anytime soon.
What is H-1B Visa?
It’s a temporary visa through which companies hire highly skilled professionals. Every year, tech companies hire thousands of employees under the H-1B visa policy. In the general category, USCIS issues such visas to 65,000 foreign employees and 20,000 students for higher education. In April 2017, the agency had received 1,99,000 petitions for H-1B visas. It’s believed that if the US administration ever decides to make changes to the visa policy, the maximum impact will be on the Indian IT professionals residing in US.
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Democratic Co-chair of Congressional India Caucus Tulsi Gabbard
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the Co-chair of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans said that most of these H-1B visa holders are small business owners who create jobs and hence strengthen the US economy. In such a situation, the decision to back off the proposal is a positive step. She also said that leveraging the talent and expertise of these visa holders would help in filling the gaps in US domestic workforce.
Congressman Kevin Yodder on the issue
Mr Kevin Yoder, member of bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, wrote a letter to US President Donald Trump. He urged the President not to approve the proposal which could deport H-1B visa holders who are waiting for permanent residency processing.
He stated that “high-skilled immigrants have helped his community by filling critical labour shortages.” He also added that the system needs to ensure that the people who are following laws and doing the right things should be valued by the system.
USCIS on the H-1B Visa issue
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) official stated that US is not considering any changes to the visa policy that could force immigrants to leave the country. However, the agency is planning to make certain policy and regulatory changes to facilitate President’s “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order. It will also include employment-based visa programs.