Tuesday, January 9, 2018

H-1B VISA May not be extended for those waiting for Green Card( permanent residency) in USA.

One of the big news I have heard this week was the changes in H-1B VISA by Trump administration which can affect as many as 500K Indians living in the USA and working in the technology sector. The H-1B VISA is the most popular way for Indian IT professional to travel the USA. In general, it is first issued for 3 years but can be extended for another 3 years. Which means an individual who goes to the USA on H-1B VISA can stay their as long as 6 years. After that, he has to come back India or go outside the USA for another 1 year before he can come back, but there is a twist.

If you are lucky enough to persuade your compnay to apply for green card and if your green card application is accepted (not approved, which can take years) then you can extend your H1B VISA as long as your green card application is in processing.

That's why many Indias who went to the USA on H1B VISA didn't return even after 6 years has been passed and that's the rule Trump administration is looking to change.

As per whatever I have heard, there are a lot of changes comingin H1B VISA, apart from earlier news about reducing its quota. It aims to impose new restrictions to prevent abuse and misuse of H-1B visas.

If this proposal is approved then more than 1M foreigners which includes a lot of Indians waiting for their green card to approve may have to return to their country.

Since green card processing takes year, sometime 10 years, many H1B holders who have Green card application pending have invested hevily in USA e.g. they have bought home and other assets.

Many of them also have US citizen children which are studying in schools. This would impact them a big time.

Anyway, the change is not approved and I hope it won't get approved atleast not in the current form. If they want to do it in the right way then they also need to speed up the green card processing time which now takes years once your application is accepted.

Many of my friends from Infosys, Wipro, TCS, and IBM are living in US waiting for their green card from 10 or so years. They have also sacrified their career in terms of sticking to the same company for the sake of green card.

Remember, you cannot change compnay if your green card application is pending, if you do then the company which is sponsoring your green card will withdraw it, hence many people stick to the same company until their green card is approved.

Other useful articles for NRIs living in the USA
Frequently asked questions about Aadhaar and PAN card for NRIs
Is Aadhaar Card Mandatory for NRIs?
Does NRIs need to link their Aadhaar Card with PAN Card?
Does NRIs need to link their Bank account with Aadhaar?
Do NRIs need to link Insurance policies with Aadhaar?
Is NRIs, PIOs, and OCI holders are eligible for Aadhaar Card?
Is Aadhaar Mandatory for NRIs?

Thanks for reading this article, if you like this article please share with your friends and colleagues. 

Update: I just heard that Trump administration may not proceed with this change, which is what I thought when I first wrote this article. 

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