Saturday, February 18, 2023

US Planning to Resume ‘domestic visa revalidation’ on Pilot Basis to Benefit H-1B Visa Holders; U.S. to Allow H-1B Workers to Renew Visas Without Leaving Country

Representational image: Reuters
US planning to resume ‘domestic visa revalidation’ on pilot basis to benefit H-1B visa holders:
in a move that could benefit tens of thousands of foreign tech workers on H-1B and L1 visas, the US is planning to resume “domestic visa revalidation” in certain categories on a pilot basis with the goal of scaling it up in the next few years. The pilot project, to be launched later this year, when fully implemented, would be a big relief to thousands of Indian tech professionals in the United States.
Until 2004, certain categories of non-immigrant visas, particularly the H-1B, could be renewed or stamped inside the US. After that, for renewal of these visas, in particular, those on H-1B, the foreign tech workers have to go out of the country, mostly to their own country to get the H-1B extension stamped on their passport.
For all the H-1B visa holders, when their visa is renewed, they need to get their passports stamped with renewal dates. This is required if they wish to travel outside of the US and re-enter the US. As of now, H-1B visa restamping is not allowed within the US. Restamping can only be done at any US consulate. This was a big inconvenience for foreign guest workers and also for their employees, particularly at a time when the visa wait time is more than 800 days or more than two years.
The much-sought-after H-1B visas are issued for three years at a time. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Ting Shen for the Wall Street Journal
WSJ: U.S. to Allow H-1B Workers to Renew Visas Without Leaving Country:
The State Department will begin allowing some work-visa holders to renew their visas without leaving the country, a department official said Friday.
Employees working in the U.S. on H-1B or L-1 visas will be permitted to renew their status domestically under a pilot program the State Department hopes to launch later this year. H-1B visas, popular with the tech industry, are intended for foreigners with college degrees working in high-skilled occupations, while L-1 visas are used by foreign managers whose companies transfer them to the U.S.
The official couldn’t confirm how many renewal applicants the pilot program will be able to accommodate. Bloomberg Government first reported the news of the pilot program.
The pilot program comes as layoffs have rippled through the tech industry in recent months and have hit H-1B visa holders particularly hard, with tens of thousands of foreign workers estimated to have been affected. The pilot program for visa renewals wouldn’t apply to laid off H-1B workers, who must leave the U.S. after 60 days if they can’t find new employment or are unable to apply to transfer to another visa.
For the last two decades, temporary visa holders have been required to travel to a U.S. consulate abroad to renew their visa. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when the State Department slowed its visa operations abroad, extreme bottlenecks at consulates meant that many visa holders would leave the country, only to get stuck because of a lack of available visa appointments. The issue has been particularly acute in India, the source of the majority of employees in the U.S. on H-1B visas, where appointments are routinely booked up more than a year out. --->READ MORE HERE
If you like what you see, please "Like" and/or Follow us on FACEBOOK here, GETTR here, and TWITTER here.

No comments: