New rule makes H-1B Visa Renewal tougher.
By implementing new rules require a petitioner to re-substantiate his application for renewal.The new rule in line by the Donald Trump administration’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ policy. As a majority of these guest workers are Indians, increasing restrictions on H-1B visa program, remains a point of concern in the India-U.S. relations. The new changes were announced even as a comprehensive review of the H-1B program is under way.
“The updated guidance instructs officers to apply the same level of scrutiny when reviewing non-immigrant visa extension requests even where the petitioner, beneficiary and underlying facts are unchanged from a previously approved petition. While adjudicators may ultimately reach the same conclusion as in a prior decision, they are not compelled to do so as a default starting point as the burden of proof to establish eligibility for an immigration benefit always lies with the petitioner,” a statement by the USCIS said.
According the reports, The new rules will impact all changes sought by H-1B visa holders.Primarily, an H-1B worker goes to the USCIS for three types of changes to his status – amendment, transfer and renewal. Amendments are sought when an H-1B employee changes the location within the same company; transfer is sought when he moves from one company to another, and a renewal is sought at the expiry of the visa, which is usually issued for three years at the beginning. “…adjudicators must thoroughly review the petition and supporting evidence to determine eligibility for the benefit sought,”
The previous policy for H1 B Visa
Has been in force for 13 years — instructed officers to give deference to the findings of a previously approved petition, as long as the key elements were unchanged and there was no evidence of a material error or fraud related to the prior determination. The updated policy guidance rescinds the previous policy.
The burden of proof in establishing eligibility for the visa petition extension is on the petitioner, regardless of whether USCIS previously approved a petition, the agency said. “The adjudicator’s determination is based on the merits of each case, and officers may request additional evidence if the petitioner has not submitted sufficient evidence to establish eligibility.”