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USA soothes Indian H-1B concerns

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) announced on Tuesday that the Trump administration does not intend any changes to the controversial H-1B visa regime which would force visa holders to leave the USA, in a move which has been greeted with relief by India’s tech community.

Fears had arisen following reports last week that President Trump was considering changes to the system which might result in the deportation of up to 750,000 Indian employees currently residing in the USA. However, the USCIS “is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States”, the organisation announced – with USCIS media relations head Jonathan Withington adding that “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 a different section of the visa code.

India’s National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM) has repeatedly cautioned against any disruption to the H-1B program, saying that it would have detrimental effects on both the USA and India; nevertheless, it remains to be seen how President Trump’s ‘America First’ approach and current antipathy towards further immigration might eventually impact on overseas tech workers and their employers.

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