Washington: In a breather for foreign tech workers, particularly Indians, the Trump administration announced it was not considering any proposal that could force deportation of thousands of H-1B visa holders by denying them extensions beyond the maximum permissible period of six years, as they waited for permanent residency.
“USCIS is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing our interpretation of section 104(c) of AC-21, which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit. Even if it were, such a change would not likely result in these H-1B visa holders having to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under section 106(a)-(b) of AC21 instead, said Jonathan Withington, Chief of Media Relations at US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that oversees H-1Bs to the Hindustan Times.
The announcement came as a major relief to Indian H-1B holders waiting for their Green Cards who were at risk of deportation if a proposal to end granting extension to visa under this programme was accepted.
An estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders could have been deported if the administration decided to go ahead with the proposal, which was in line with President Donald Trumps Buy American, Hire American vision to boost manufacturing and protect local jobs for American.