Washington: The US is considering new regulations aimed at preventing the extension of H1B visas, predominantly used by Indian IT professionals, as part of President Donald Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" initiative, says a report.
The move could directly stop hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from keeping their H1B visas while their green card applications are pending.
The proposal, which is being shared between the Department of Homeland Security Department (DHS) heads, is part of Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" initiative promised during the 2016 campaign. It aims to impose new restrictions to prevent abuse and misuse of H1B visas, besides ending the provision of granting extension for those who already have a green card.
"The act currently allows the administration to extend the H1B visas for thousands of immigrants, predominantly Indian immigrants, beyond the allowed two three-year terms if a green card is pending," the report said.
"The idea is to create a sort of 'self- deportation' of hundreds of thousands of Indian IT workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans," it said, quoting a source briefed by Homeland Security officials.
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. It is typically issued for three to six years to employers to hire a foreign worker. But H1B holders who have begun the green card process can often renew their work visas indefinitely. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.