- USCIS officials can now deny H1B visa applications and visa extension applications outright.
- Applicants will no longer have a chance to fix mistakes in the application or provide additional supporting documents.
- Applicants whos visa extension petition is denied may face deportation.
Yet another change has been introduced to the USA’s H1B visa policy. This one allows USCIS officials to deny H1B visas without asking for changes or supporting documents. Find out more here.
The United States’ H1B visa policy has seen a sea of changes in 2018. This has traditionally been the most popular visa category for migrants especially those from India. The changes introduced have been made with an aim to streamline the process and remove meritless claims.
The latest change was introduced via a policy memorandum by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on July 13th. This policy makes it easier for visa officers to deny H1B visas. The changes will come into effect from September 11th 2018.
Why Deny H1B Visa Applications and the Effects of the New policy
H1B visa policy and India
The H1B visa permits immigrants to work with US-based companies and live in the United States. To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must have a minimum of 12 points on the H1B point scale. The visa may be granted for the duration of the project the applicant is being employed for or for up to 3 years. It may later be extended. The applicant’s dependents will typically be issued H4 visas.
This visa is also known as a dual intent visa as it allows the applicant to apply for a Green Card. India sends the maximum number of migrants to the USA every year on the H1B visa. The new policy that allows officials to deny H1B Visa will impact the Indians badly.
Changes to the H1B visa policy
Earlier this year, changes were introduced in the paperwork required while filing for H1B visas. According to the latest changes allow officials to deny H1B visa outright if the application is incomplete or not accompanied by relevant documents. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicators have now been given full discretion to deny requests, petitions and applications without having to first Request For Evidence (RFE) or issue a Notice Of Intent to Deny (NOID).
According to the earlier ruling, an RFE could be issued to the applicant for supporting documents unless no additional information or documentation could rectify the issue. Thus the applicant will now not have a chance to makes changes in the application or resubmit correct documents. In the case of an application for visa extension, if the petition is denied, deportation proceeding may be started against the applicant even if they choose to challenge the denial by issuing a “Notice to Appear” (NTA) order.
Effect of these changes
According to the USCIS memorandum, implementing this change to allow USCIS officials to outrightly deny H1B visas will discourage frivolous filings and make the visa process more efficient as the system will no longer be bogged down with ineligible applications. However, these changes have not been taken in a positive light by everyone.
American companies believe that this will make it more difficult to employ foreign workers in skilled positions. This, in turn, could harm the US economy.
While the policy changes do not intend on punishing applicants who make honest mistakes in filing their application, they will be affected by the change.
In the case of H1B visa extension denials, the applicant will no longer be accepted as a legal resident in the USA and hence will not be able to work. However, he or she will not be able to leave the country either until the court hearing. If they do choose to leave before the court hearing, a 10-year ban could be put into effect to keep them from returning to the USA.
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