H1B Visa holders spending sleepless nights due to deportation fear

New Delhi: Many H1B Visa holders are spending sleepless nights as a 60 day grace period will come to an end by June. Some of them are in deep trouble as they have to pay back student loans, home loans and other expenses.

They are in dilemma over the fact that on one hand, grace period will end soon and on the other, home country, India have not lifted flight ban due to coronavirus outbreak.

It may be mentioned that most of the visa holders are on unpaid leaves even since the US reported the outbreak.

H1B Visa holders surviving on savings

Although, many Americans have also lost their jobs, H1B visa holders are the most affected ones as on the one hand, they have to survive on their savings and on the other, they must find employer compatible with the visa status.

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If the US government don’t take decision in favour of extension of grace period to 180 days, many persons will be forced to leave the country. If they leave the country, it will not only lead to unfilled vacant positions but also negative impact on US economy.

As per the projection made by Jeremy Neufeld, an immigration policy analyst with Washington-based think tank Niskanen Center, around 2 lakh H1B visa holders may lose the legal status by the month of June.

Temporary ban on immigration

Apart from it, H1B visa holders are disappointed with Trump’s decision to impose temporary ban on immigration into the United States for 60 days.

Citing the reason for imposing the ban, Trump said, ” In order to protect our American workers, I have just signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States”.

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“We want Americans to have the jobs and we want the Americans to have health care. We want to take care of our citizens first. It is a very powerful order. It’s for 60 days. At the end of 60 days or even during the 60-day (period), we may extend it or not,” he added.

H1B Visa: What is grace period?

H1B Visa allows the US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.

The visa holders can stay in US for three years. The duration of stay can be extended to six years.

It may be noted that if the employment of the visa holder ends, the person has to leave the US unless he/she is granted change of status or successful finds employer compatible with H1B status.  

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