Indian IT’s H-1B Visa Faces Further Restrictions in 2020Immigration

January 03, 2020 12:14
Indian IT’s H-1B Visa Faces Further Restrictions in 2020

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Grant of work visas by the US may be delayed in the year 2020 which results in the suffering of the Indian IT industry. The delay might occur due to the lack of clarity in the registration process which will kick off in April, says the immigration attorneys who also expect an increase in the uncertainties as Donald Trump seeks second term in November.

A new system for the US Citizenship and Immigration services (USCIS) which is the agency for issuing H-1B visas, will be made in April and it requires the names of the employees who need the work permit to register in advance by the employers. The selection as in who among the registered candidates can apply for the visa will be selected by the agency.

“Customarily, the H-1B visa ‘season’ runs from early March to the second week of April. Now, it will run from early March (when the registration begins) to at least until the end of July 2020,” said a US-based immigration lawyer, Neil A Weinrib.

Weinrib added saying that, “ Essentially, this means that USCIS will take even longer to adjudicate (on) these cases and many companies and foreign nationals may miss the October 1 start date.”

Expecting the impact on both Indian and US companies, a second lawyer said that, the US government’s record of tardy technology or workflow implementation could further amplify the delays.

“Under the current immigration environment in the US, things are going to get tougher. The government has also earmarked more funds for immigration and labor law enforcement, which will result in more ‘raids’, site visits, audits and scrutinies,” said Poorvi Chothani,the managing partner of a US immigration firm, Law-Quest which is headquartered in Mumbai. “Hence, remaining compliant with the law and maintaining proper paper work to show compliance is of paramount importance.”

Changes in defining the context of ‘speciality occupation’ in H-1B visa are expected by the analysts which may further lead to increase in the scrutiny of applications.

The department of Homeland Security said in November, that the H-4 Employment Authorization document (EAD) would be reviewed which allows spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the US legally in spring 2020.

New rules might also be brought by the US that would reduce the time allowed for a foreign student pursuing science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) to work in the US. The change in the DHS plans are said to be made in August the so called Optical Practical Training (OPT) rule which presently allows the STEM graduates to work for an additional 24 months following the first year of graduation.

By Shrithika Kushangi

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immigration  H1-B visa