In what could be a relief for over seven lakh Indian techies working in the USA, authorities have said that the Trump administration is not considering a proposal that is likely to force H-1B visa holders to leave the country. This statement might come as a big blow to Donald Trump, who has been vocal about deporting the foreigners working in the United States since taking charge.
Jonathan also Confirmed that even if the rule was changed, there is still a solution: Employers can use Section 106 (a)-(b) of AC21, in order to trigger one-year extensions for their employees. That includes "a thorough review of employment based visa programs", though USCIS explained that the H1-B extension policy was not on the chopping block.
Currently, there is an annual allocation of 65,000 H-1B visas in general category and another 20,000 for students from the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
McClathchy Bureau, which had first reported the memo in the DHS to "self-deport" H-1B visa workers, in a report on Tuesday, January 9, said: "Under intense pressure from the business and technology communities, the Trump administration appears to be backing away from a policy change that could have forced foreign tech workers out of the country", adding that despite what USCIS said, "the agency reversed course on that proposal".
Several Indians and industry leaders had also raised a strong objection to the proposal last week, saying the move could equally harm the U.S., which benefitted from the Indian workforce immensely. It is expected to impact Indian IT and ITeS, pharma and contract manufacturing industries as the USA companies will find their home more attractive destination for expansion.
Announcing the news that the Trump administration has dropped the draconian H-1B visa proposal, Immigration Voice said in a post on its Facebook page, "We are ECSTATIC to share this Breaking News".
Several American companies, which have hired a large number of foreign techies, had requested the Trump administration not to stop the extension of the H-1B visa to their workers.
The proposed Bill was opposed by several major Indian IT companies working in the US.
Trump himself, according to one account in Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury, understands the needs of the United States tech industry and is sympathetic their H1-B visa needs. "Given that there is a real problem of shortage of skilled professionals in the US, any disruptive move will be detrimental for both India and the US", Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar had said. Even if the USCIS begins denying H-1B extensions filed under Section 104 (c), it will presumably honor extensions already granted under this provision. "And we thank USCIS to make the right decision".