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H 1B visa

05 April, 2020, 11:01 PM IST



Lapsing of H-1B visas makes techies jittery

Indians currently in the United States on H1-B visas could face some testing times in the next few weeks. For several,the H1-B visas have lapsed or are likely to do so soon.

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  • In a big relief to Indian travellers stuck in the US in the wake of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the US dept of state has announced that in view of numerous international flights that have been cancelled, travellers can apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for extensions to those visas.

    US Tech Workers, a non-profit which advocates more local hiring, has written to US President saying unemployment claims had gone up to 3 million in the previous week. “We urge you to pause the H-1B visa program that would bring in 85,000 workers this year and suspend the recently approved addition of additional 35,000 workers for the H-2B visa,” it said.

    Nasscom has requested the US Department of Homeland Service (DHS), the labor department and the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for a 90-day grace period for professionals to depart the US following expiration of their H-1B/ L-1 visas.

    ​​​The petitions were randomly selected from the registrations submitted properly and petitioners will be notified no later than March 31, 2020, that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.

    At present, international students can switch to a one year period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) after they graduate, but they eventually have to apply for an H-1B visa to continue working in the country. The US issues 65,000 H-1B work permits each year, with a further 20,000 visas going to applicants with an advanced US degree.

    Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but both representatives and registrants must wait until March 1 at noon Eastern to enter beneficiary information, submit registrations and pay the $10 non-refundable registration fee for each beneficiary, said the USCIS in a statement.

    Non-profit body US Tech Workers writes to US Prez, citing high unemployment rates

    The US Citizenship and Immigration Services ton Monday announced the temporary suspension of premium processing service for fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions.

    The immigration agency has said that it would be relaxing its policies in coming months in light of the current situation. “USCIS is adopting several measures to protect our workforce and community, and to minimize the immigration consequences for those seeking immigration benefits during this time,” it said.

    Lawyers say the US Citizenship and Immigration Services is seeking more Requests for Evidence from visa applicants than before.

    IT cos have failed to convince a US court that submitting detailed evidence for H-1B visa has caused them harm.

    The move, necessitated by the Covid-19 virus outbreak will make it difficult for software exporters to send employees on projects and sales calls to the United States, which generates over two-thirds of the Indian IT industry’s revenue. The embassy has said that applicants could reschedule visa interviews once regular consular operations resume.

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