New directive of Trump administration on H-1B and L1 visas: Tough time for Indian IT workers

New H-1B visa measure likely to hit Indian firms

New York, October 26: The Indian IT professionals would find it more difficult to renew their non-immigrant visas such as H-1B and L1 as per the new directive issued by Donald Trump administration.

Rescinding more than the 13-year-old policy, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) claimed that the burden of proof lies on the applicant even when the extension is sought.

According to the latest memorandum by USCIS, the burden on the federal agency was placed with the previous memorandum of April 23, 2004.

The previous policy made a person eligible for a work visa initially and later they could extend their visa. Currently, they have to prove to the federal authorities, during every extension, that they are eligible for the visa they are applying for.

This is not just to the new visa applicants, but the change is being made retroactively to people already living in the country.

The USCIS said, “in adjudicating petitions for immigration benefits, including non-immigrant petition extensions, adjudicators must, in all cases, thoroughly review the petition and supporting evidence to determine eligibility for the benefit sought.”

The new policy is according to the Trump administration’s aim that the American workers need to be protected from discrimination and replacement by foreign labourers.

The new policy would crackdown visa fraud and abuse; only qualified H-1B workers would be allowed to stay in US.

On Wednesday, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had raised the nation’s concerns over H-1B visa with the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Swaraj requested Tillerson not to take any action that may adversely impact Indians.

Swaraj added that there has been no change and there are proposals, also efforts are made to ensure that the bill doesn’t get passed in the Congress.

Swaraj had earlier in September also raised the issue with Tillerson during a meeting held on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly in New York.

H-1B visa allows employers of United States to employ foreign workers in their speciality occupations. This is issued by the US under Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H).