H1B Visa Rules Relaxed: Full Itinerary Of Work Stint No Longer Required (How Will This Help?)

H1B Visa Rules Relaxed: Full Itinerary Of Work Stint No Longer Required (How Will This Help?)
H1B Visa Rules Relaxed: Full Itinerary Of Work Stint No Longer Required (How Will This Help?)

There is a lot of immigration news circulating around these days, especially in accordance to the coronavirus crisis.

President Trump and his administration have always looked forward to create obstacles for immigrants wanting to enter the U.S. Taking the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to tighten the entry of foreign nationals into the U.S., the administration has announced various reforms regarding the immigration process.

However, in recent news, there has been some relief provided to the Indian IT services firms, as H-1B visa applicants are now not required to submit a detailed itinerary of their entire work to the USCIS.

Relief to the H-1B Visa Applicants

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. 

The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China. These IT companies send their employees on H-1B visas to the U.S.

Earlier, while deploying their employees in third party locations in the US on the H-1B visas, the work permits were either granted for less than the mandated three-year period or were denied altogether by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), for not submitting a detailed itinerary.

This decision came after USCIS reached on a settlement with the ITServe Alliance, an IT industry body based in the United States. 

What is this Settlement About?

According to this settlement between the USCIS and ITServe Alliance, the former will have to revoke its ‘2018 Contract and Itinerary Memorandum’.

As per this memorandum, companies sending their employees to the U.S. under work visas, were required to provide the employee’s itinerary within a period of 90 days.

Additionally, the agency will reopen and adjudicate more than 60 H-1B petitions in the next 90 days. The USCIS will also pay the ITServe Alliance $187,000 towards legal costs.

Speaking of ITServe Alliance, it is the largest association of IT solutions and services organisations in the US, comprising of 1,200 member companies. It has filed over 130 cases challenging visa denials, just over the past 2 years.

This settlement wipes out the last 10 years of USCIS policy targeting many companies that hire H-1B employees and directly benefits them with the opportunity for stable employment, a predictable future, and the confidence to continue their interest in the United States.

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