New Delhi: There may be some relief for Indians working as the Biden administration has expressed willingness to reconsider the objections or adverse decisions on visas like H-1B due to the three policy memos by the former Trump administration which now have been withdrawn.
What it means for Indian professionals in the US?
This particular move is likely to ease restrictions on Indian IT professionals facing a tough time during the previous Trump administration as a result of various policies and memorandums on non-immigrant work visas, particularly H-1B.
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The announcement by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reads as, “it may reopen and/or reconsider adverse decisions” on Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, made based on three rescinded policy memos.
It is to be noted that USCIS will use discretion to accept a motion to reopen filed more than 30 days after the decision, if filed before the end of the validity period requested on the petition or labour condition application, whichever is earlier, and the decision was based on one or more policies in the three rescinded H-1B memoranda.
What are the two policies withdrawn?
On June 17, 2020, USCIS issued Policy Memorandum 602-0114, which officially rescinded two prior policy memoranda. First titled “Determining Employer-Employee Relationship for Adjudication of H-1B Petitions, Including Third-Party Site Placements,” that was issued on January 8, 2010; and second “Contracts and Itineraries Requirements for H-1B Petitions Involving Third-Party Worksites,” issued on February 22, 2018.
On February 3, 2021, USCIS issued Policy Memorandum 602-0142.1, which officially rescinded PM-602-0142, “Rescission of the December 22, 2000 ”Guidance memo on H1B computer related positions”,” issued on March 31, 2017.
USCIS said a petitioner may request that it reopen and/or reconsider adverse decisions based on the three rescinded policy memos by properly filing Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, accompanied by the appropriate fee.
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In addition, USCIS has the discretionary authority to accept and consider untimely motions under certain circumstances as explained in the form instructions and permitted by regulation.
“Petitioners who received an adverse decision on an H-1B petition based on the now-rescinded policy memoranda should consider whether there is time remaining in the validity period requested on the previously filed H-1B petition and the relevant labour condition application,” USCIS said.
Moreover, USCIS recently extended through March 31, 2021, COVID-19 related accommodations that affect the deadlines for filing motions and appeals.