(Image source from: Deccanchronicle.com)
US Tightens Renewal of H-1B Visa:- The trump administration, in a new directive, has made it more difficult for the renewal of non-immigrant visas such as H1-B and L1, popular among Indian IT professionals. It said that even when an extension is sought, the burden of proof lies on the applicant.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), rescinding its more than 13-year old policy, said that the burden of proof in establishing eligibility is, at all times, on the petitioner. The previous memorandum of April 23, 2004 appeared to place this burden on this federal agency, said the USCIS.
“This memorandum makes it clear that the burden of proof remains on the petitioner, even where an extension of non-immigrant status is sought,” USCIS said in its latest memorandum issued on October 23.
The person would usually be considered for extension of their visa, if they are once found to be eligible for a work visa initially, under the previous policy. They need to prove to the federal authorities, for each extension now, that they are still eligible for the visa they apply for.
President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, William Stock said the change is being made not just to new applicants, but is also being made retroactively to people already living in the country.
“In adjudicating petitions for immigration benefits, including non-immigrant petition extensions, adjudicators must, in all cases, thoroughly review the petition and supporting evidence to determine eligibility for the benefit sought.”
“The burden of proof in establishing eligibility is, at all times, on the petitioner,” the USCIS said.
The NumberUSA website said, to protect American workers from discrimination and replacement by foreign labor, the new policy is in line with the Trump administration’s goal. Only qualified H-1B workers will be allowed to stay in the US and will help crackdown on visa fraud and abuse, and that will be the main aim of the new policy, it added.