Interview requirements waived for US visa applicants from India
The United States State Department has waived in-person interview requirements for specific categories of visa applicants from India. These applicants should have previously not been refused a US visa and should have previously been issued a visa. The categories that are eligible are academic J visas as well as F and M visas, individual L visas as well as H-1, H-2, and H-3 visas. An additional 20,000 waiver appointments will be allowed for Spring 2022.
Spouses of H1-B visa holders might not be able to work in the United States
The Trump administration plans to bring an end to the rule of allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the country. The development has emerged after a top federal agency official has told lawmakers that the administration was planning on proposing it. The move if implemented can have a devastating impact on Indians working in the country. It needs to be mentioned that currently more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders have work permits.
The H-4 visa is issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders under a special order that was issued during the Obama-era rule in the year 2015. After the rule was passed, Indian-Americans has been the major beneficiary which can be gauged from the fact that as of early 2017, 93 percent of the total H-4 visa holders were women from India.
Francis Cissna, the director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated that a formal communication on the matter is expected to be made later this summer. He added that the reversal of the 2015 rule will ensure in protecting the interests of United States workers.
H1B visa saga: Indian companies in US start employing locals
As the number of applicants for the H1B visa has seen an unprecedented drop, firms the in US have also gone the other way and have began hiring locals in the US.
In fact, a number of well-known Indian IT firms have gone on to take this route. They have been trying to bring down foreign employment and increase the number of local people as far as hiring is concerned. In fact, it has also been found that the number of H1B applications for the 2019 cycle has seen what we can call a ‘historic fall’.
The H1B visa is a type of visa that permits companies across the United States of America to hire foreign workers for certain skilled jobs. Over the years, the number of Indians that have been taking up such jobs have seen an unprecedented high.
Indian companies that have branches in the US have also been actively increasing the number of local hirings as there been a change in the political scenario as far as visa policies are concerned. This has been the trend since the beginning of 2017 as far as H1B visas are concerned.
Trump’s Administration Insisted To Keep H-1B Spouses’ Work Permits
According to the 2015 regulation issued by Barrack Obama’s administration, the H-1B spouses are permitted to work or be employed while the actual holder seeks a permanent residence in the U.S.
However, after the H-1B visa policies have been tightened, 6 democratic lawmakers have insisted the Trump’s administration to retain the existing Obama’s rule. They have sent a letter urging to “reconsider” the new plan, as it would create significant financial hardship and uncertainty for most highly-qualified professionals.
U.S. tightens the rules on H-1B visa, Indians will be affected
The Trump’s administration has made it even harder for individuals and companies to acquire H-1B visas. Moreover, even if a person gets one, it might not be for 3 years, as it has always been. In such circumstances, both Indian IT organizations and Indians will have an impact because they are the majority users of this work visa. Apart from these, short durations might also make the transition to a Green Card from an H-1B visa almost impossible.
According to the policy memorandum announced on 22 February by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, its officers have all the rights to seek comprehensive documentation as well as necessary proof from companies to make sure that an H-1B beneficiary truly has some important tasks in a specific occupation.
Earlier extension of H-1B visa was easy and the process involved asking only a few questions to the beneficiary. But at present, an H-1B issuance has not only limited it to 3 years but also the administration has made the extension process more difficult, convincing Indian IT companies to tell their H-1B employees to return much earlier than expected. The new regulations also imply that an applicant might not also get his/her full three years.