As the concerns over H1B Visa holders and aspirants grow even murkier, its another day at the office for the Trump Administration. Another H-1B controversial memo comes out. The writing is on the wall, it’s not going to be an easy road for Indian techies who want to work in the United States.
This memo in question has probably the biggest potential to jeopardise the career prospects of several Indian H-1B visa holders or the ones who are currently in the queue to get their visas approved.
In a policy memo issued on June 28, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start issuing NTA (Notice to Appear) letters to any person whose application for H-1B visa application is denied. Such visa holders will not be deemed to be staying illegally in the United States.
During the Obama Administration, an Indian techie with a H-1B visa had the option of returning to India after the rejection of his visa extension application. In the earlier situation, he wouldn’t have got the NTA notice, whereas now through this new USCIS policy they will be considered as illegally staying in the United States after the denial of visa extension and the expiry of the original term of stay as mentioned in Form 1-94.
Such a status will mean that they will not be able to leave America, till the time an immigration judge has heard their case and decided it. On receipt of the NTA letter, you will have to stay in America till the pendency of the outcome of such a case and will not be able to return to India.
That’s added pressure and humiliation, considering that you are no longer employed, have been tagged as an illegal resident, and now need to face deportation proceedings. If you decide to leave the country, you will have to face a 5-year ban on re-entry to the United States.
As many as 7 lakh Indian techies working in the US on H-1B visas will be affected by such an order. All the recent actions of the Trump administration towards tightening of the H-1B work visa norms has already put cost pressures on Indian IT firms with onsite hiring costs piling up. High operating costs will soon force IT companies to rethink their approach and perhaps make them rethink about their US operations. If that happens, will it really serve American interests? Let time be the judge.