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Tags Current Affairs

Changes in US visa guidelines

Date: 04 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

On May 1, the US government announced a grace period of 60 days for H-1B visa holders and Green Card applicants who have been served notices for submission of various documents, in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

 

Background

Earlier, on March 30, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had first given a flexibility of 60 days for responding to requests or notices having issuance dates between March 1 and May 1, 2020.

 

Details

  • As per the fresh notification from the agency, the grace period will become applicable to the documents if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1 and July 1, 2020.

  • The new USCIS notification said the extension of flexibilities could be availed for responding to Requests for Evidence; Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14); Notices of Intent to Deny; Notices of Intent to Revoke; Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centres; and Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion

  • The US Department of Homeland Security said it would allow non-immigrant visa holders, such as those on H-1B visa, to apply for an extension of their stay in the country. The decision came as a timely respite for thousands of Indian workers, students, and tourists who remain stranded in the US due to the novel coronavirus.

  • The notification also had extended flexibility for late applications and had said the government could excuse the failure to file on time if caused due to extraordinary circumstances beyond control, such as those that may be caused by Covid-19.

  • The USCIS can issue a maximum of 65,000 H-1B work visas every year to highly skilled foreign workers. It can issue an additional 20,000 H-1B visas to those highly skilled foreign workers who have obtained masters or higher degrees from an American educational institution.

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