CHICAGO: Even as broader uncertainty looms over the fate of the H1B visas under the incoming Donald Trump administration, some recent changes by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) make them friendlier to those already on them.
The USCIS will now allow terminated H1B visa holders a grace period of 60 days to either leave or sort out their paperwork for new jobs. Although the existing rules did not explicitly state that the terminated H1B worker had to leave immediately, there have been cases where such H1B workers had to find a way to leave the country immediately. Decision-making in such cases came down to the individual discretion of the immigration officer.
“The immigration authorities have now clarified that that is not the case ending what many thought was an inhuman provision,” Neeraj Bhatia, a Silicon Valley based head of an accounting firm and an expert in immigration issues, told IANS.
Under its Final Rule published on November 18, 2016, which will be effective from January 17, 2017, the USCIS will now allow terminated H1B workers a grace period of 60 days to either leave or sort out their paperwork for new jobs.
Another change will also prevent the revocation of I-140 by employers for those employees who have held it for more 180 days but whose services were terminated. What this does is help such employees not lose their turn in the protracted green card process once they change over to new jobs.
One more significant change that the USCIS has announced relates to employment authorisation for H4 visa holders who come as spouses of H1B visa holders. Under this change, those H4 workers will not have to wait for the approval of their extension for them to continue working.
By IANS for THE ECONOMIC TIMES
Read Full Article HERE