200,000 H1B Holders Will Lose Their Right To Live In US After June: Who Will Help Them?
As per the reports, over 250,000 guest workers seeking a green card in the U.S.about 200,000 of them on H-1B visas could lose their legal status by the end of June, according to Jeremy Neufeld, an immigration policy analyst with the Washington D.C.-based think tank Niskanen Center.
Why Would This Happen?
Around thousands more who are not seeking resident status may also be forced to return home, he said.
Out of this, about three-quarters of H-1B visas go to people working in the technology industry, though the exact levels vary year by year.
in the last two months, tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, but workers on visas are more vulnerable in ways native-born workers aren’t.
Also, H-1B visas are tied to a specific location and employer who commits to paying the recipient a minimum salary.
While furloughing recipients, reducing their wages, and in some cases allowing them to work from home violates visa requirements.
Those H-1B workers, who are terminated have 60-days to find another job, transfer to a different visa or leave the country.
Further, if they don’t lose their jobs, workers can find themselves in a dilemma if they cant get their visas renewed during this period of disruption.
How Is This Affecting?
Basically the visa crisis is causing a catastrophe at a human level and an economic level said Doug Rand, who worked on technology and immigration policy in the Obama administration before co-founding Boundless Immigration Inc., a company that helps people navigate the immigration system.
Moreover, the H-1B workers often have families who also rely on their jobs for authorization to stay in the country, including children who may have spent their entire lives in the U.S. “It’s just a mess”, Rand said.
What Is To Be Done To Resolve The Situation?
In a letter written to the State and Homeland Security departments on April 17, TechNet, a lobbying group whose members include Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, joined a coalition of trade groups calling for relief for foreign-born workers.
Further, the letters requested a delay in work authorization expiration dates until at least September 10.
These issues will lead to hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs and have profound negative economic effects, without any action.
The senior vice president of federal policy and government relations at TechNet, Alex Burgos said the tech industry is crucial to supporting offices working remotely, helping doctors provide telehealth services and keeping students learning at home.
He added, “We’ve seen the administration extend tax filing deadlines, he said, and similar flexibility in visa programs makes sense because no one here is at fault in any way.”
What Does The US Government Say?
So far, the Trump administration has not responded to the letter.
Further, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesperson declined to say if the agency would extend visa deadlines but said it may provide special support for people affected by circumstances beyond their control when requested.
Also, the administration has taken a consistently hard-line stance on immigration and foreign-born workers.
Moreover, the number of non-immigrant visas issued in 2019 declined for the fourth consecutive year, to 8.7 million from 10.9 million in 2015, according to the State Department.