In what could be a relief for over seven lakh Indian techies working in the US, authorities have said that the Trump administration is not considering a proposal that is likely to force H-1B visa holders to leave the country.
According to a PTI report, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made the announcement days after there were reports that the Trump administration was considering tightening H-1B visa rules and end extensions, something that could have led to the deportation of 7,50,000 Indians.
The USCIS "is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing interpretation of section certain language in Section 104 C of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) statute that states that USCIS may grant the extensions," an official said.
Jonathan Withington, Chief of Media Relations at the USCIS said in a statement that even if it was considering a regulatory change, it wouldnâ€™t mean these H-1B visa holders will have to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under section 106(a)-(b) of AC21.
"The agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President's Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, including a thorough review of employment based visa programmes," PTI quotes Withington as saying.
Last week, reports emerged that the US was considering new regulations to prevent the extension of H-1B visas, something that is most sought after by Indian IT professionals working in the US.
Reports followed that the Trump administration was facing immense pressure from business and technology communities over the potential change in policy
However, USCIS denied ever considering a policy change such as this and also claimed that any suggestion that it changed its position due to pressure is false.
In fact, not just last week, ever since the Trump administration took office in January last year, there have been several reports of the government cracking down on foreign employees and the H-1B visa scheme, following which several IT professionals began hiring more in the US.
PTI reports that the USCIS has a Congressional mandate to issue 65,000 H-1B visas in general category and another 20,000 for those applicants having higher education from US universities in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.