Unemployed H1B Visa Holders Must Leave US Within 60 Days; Petition Filed To Extend Grace Period
Why Would This Happen?
The situation is becoming worse for skilled workers who are either unemployed as of now or maybe sacked due to the dwindling economy is the fact that they have just 60 days to find a new job or get deported to their home country.
Although, this was always the rule and is not a new development, in the current scenario it may be difficult for those who are unemployed to find new jobs within the stipulated period of time.
While talking about the subject, an Indian IT engineer employed with a reputed company said, “All of us who are currently employed on H1B Visas are getting mentally prepared that we may lose our jobs, and may have to come back to India as it seems unlikely at the moment that we will get another job within 60 days,”.
How They Are Coping With The Situations?
In this crisis, there is also an ongoing petition on the White House website requesting the US Government to extend the 60 day grace period to 180 days.
Basically, the petition says that the US Government must consider extending the grace period as most H1B workers are from India and would not be allowed to travel home with children who are US Citizens as nations across the world have announced an entry ban.
So far, the petition has about 53,000 signatures and will be taken into consideration only if it reaches 1 lakh signatures.
Who Got Affected By This Policy?
Those who are on student visas also fear being deported to their home country, apart from Indian H1B Visa holders.
Usually, student visa holders who apply for H1B visas to be selected through the lottery system are also at the risk of being sent back as finding employment at the present time seems improbable.
According to that, those who do not get picked for three years will be deported.
Earlier, the Trump administration has targeted the H-1B program, dramatically increasing rates of visa denials for information-technology staffing companies and outsourcing firms.
Further, the Silicon Valley tech giants rely heavily on the visa and push for an expansion to an annual 85,000 cap on new H-1Bs.
Additionally, the critics point to reported abuses and argue that staffing firms, outsourcers and major tech companies use the visa to supplant U.S. workers, drive down wages and facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs.
Although, University professor Ron Hira, who studies the H-1B, noted that those holding it are tied closely to their employers.
Hira said, “During job crises like these, H-1B workers are even more vulnerable than usual and are more likely to be exploited,”.
Though, the situation appears grim as of now, Indian H1B Visa holders remain hopeful of receiving some respite from the Donald Trump government as the H1B community supports the IT industry and are huge contributors to the US economy.