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Trump administration makes renewal of H1B visas more hard
November 22 2017, 01:29 | Alonzo Simpson
The new mandate is in a state of harmony with the Donald Trump organization's objective to shield American specialists from discrimination and substitution by remote work.
H-1B visa holders coming from India make up 70.9 percent of all beneficiaries and the restrictions could affect operations of many companies, both from India and the United States, dependent on Indian IT talent. Now, for each extension, they need to prove to the federal authorities that they are still eligible for the visa they apply for.
Under the previous directive, a person would usually be considered for extension of their visa if she/he was was once found to be eligible for a work visa initially.
The policy reversal is a blow to companies as well, especially large technology firms in Silicon Valley and India that rely on H-1B visas to bring in highly skilled software engineers and product managers from India and other places. Petitions for renewal of H-1B visas, particularly when the underlying facts that supported the original petition have not changed, are now considered with a presumption of approval, but that will no longer be the case, USISC said in a statement issued late on Monday.
In what could turn out to be more trouble for Indian and other foreign professionals wishing to work in the United States and Indian IT firms having major U.S. operations, the Trump administration is making it more hard to obtain extensions for H-1B/L-1 work visas.
"The burden of proof in establishing eligibility is, at all times, on the petitioner", the USCIS said. President Trump has always been very vocally critical about the H-1B that he believes is abused by foreigners to take over jobs of American workers.
"This is most evident in our mutually beneficial digital partnership, driven by our skilled professionals".
Betsy Lawrence, the director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told CNN Tech that the previous guidance made it efficient to review cases. "In this regard, we have also discussed the very significant contribution to the U.S. economy of Indian skilled professionals who travel and work under the H1-B and L-1 visa programmes".
"Under the law, the burden of proof in establishing eligibility for the visa petition extension is on the petitioner, regardless of whether USCIS previously approved a petition", it said, adding the adjudicator's determination is based on the merits of each case, and officers may request additional evidence if the petitioner has not submitted sufficient evidence to establish eligibility.