US Considers Stopping H-1B Visa Extensions, May Hit Indian Workers

A report said that India may be looking at upwards of 500,000 of its skilled workforce returning home.

2 min read
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The US Department of Homeland Security is considering new regulations that would prevent foreign workers from getting an H-1B visa extension while their green card application is pending.

A report in Hindustan Times said that India may be looking at upwards of 5,00,000 of its skilled workforce returning home.

The move could lead to large-scale deportations, and is bound to throw several families into crisis.

“The idea is to create a sort of ‘self-deportation’ of hundreds of thousands of Indian tech workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans,” a US source briefed by Homeland Security officials was quoted as saying.

Currently, foreign guest workers are allowed one three-year extension of the H-1B visa of three-year validity. If at the end of those six years, she/he has a pending Green Card (Permanent Residency) application, then there is an almost indefinite extension of the H-1B visa till such time the applicant's Green Card processing is completed.

The Trump administration is considering ending this. Thus, if an H1-B visa holder applies for an extension at the end of six years, then she/he would have to leave the US till the process is complete.

A report in The Indian Express said that the Indian government is watching the development closely. “It is one of our high-priority areas of engagement with our interlocutors in the US,” a government official was quoted as saying by the English daily.

However, a Times of India report said it is also possible that the visa extension roll back is never implemented as it is currently at a proposal stage and there are powerful arguments against implementing it.

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