How Difficult is it to Get an H1B Visa, Considering the Recent Policy Changes?

On the third day of 2018, Business Today published a very startling piece of news that affected the fate of 5 lakh Indians working in the US. The news stated that the Trump administration had decided not to extend the H-1B visas of those waiting for permanent residency or green cards in the United States.

This proposal was the result of  US President Donald Trump’s poll promise during his 2016 campaign, to “Buy American, Hire American,” where he promised to protect jobs for American workers. For some reason, the Trump administration is aiming at the self-deportation of lakhs Indian tech workers to open up those jobs for Americans, added the Business Today article. This definitely comes as a shock for technology companies in the US that prominently hire each year from countries like India and China.

Seeing the ongoing policy changes in the immigration process, it almost appears as though the US government is trying to create a disinterest amongst people across the globe for the US. If the situation continues on the same path, it will not be surprising to see that in the coming years, there will be a significant decrease in the number of people who want to visit and/or live the American dream.

The Trump Administration’s New Proposal Fuels Concerns

Each year, the US government issues thousands of H1B visas, a type of non-immigrant visa, to foreign applicants who have been employed by American companies to work in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Initially the visa is issued for three years but can be extended to six years. However, these work visas can be renewed indefinitely if the H-1B holders have a pending permanent residency application or until the applicant’s green card processing is completed.

But after the new proposal from the Trump administration, an immigrant will have to leave the US until their green card application is processed. What I am more concerned about here is that such implications will restrict those millions of foreign workers from being able to extend their H-1B visas till they get their green card.

Related: How to get a job sponsor in USA

Increased RFEs Will Only Add to the Worries

I should start by explaining what RFEs are. As a routine part of the visa process, the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) department sends notices to H-1B applicants, requesting for more information. These notices are called RFEs or “Requests for Evidence.” The aim of the RFE is to choose to grant visas only to genuine applicants who meet all the criteria.

However, an article by Quartz stated that these many of these requests are unwarranted and that their numbers have been increasing in recent times. Although it will not negatively impact your visa application, increased RFEs that require applicants to round up documents to address USCIS concerns, submit them and await an answer, will make the visa application process much more tedious for those who are awaiting work permits and the companies wanting to hire them.

About the author

Mani Karthik

Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life. This blog is read today, by more than 200K people world over! I'm basically from Kochi, Kerala and spend my time between Los Angeles and India. Here's my full story. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). :)

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