USCIS Announces New Policy Offering Relief to H-1B, L-1 Visa Holders

In order to help Indian immigrants in the US who are experiencing uncertainty as a result of recent layoffs, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new policy, PA-2023-18. The policy includes advice on Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and a legal route for people who are waiting for a visa.

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For Indian immigrants living in the United States, there is a glimmer of promise among the uncertainty caused by recent layoffs at big IT companies.

In response to urgent situations, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new policy, PA-2023-18, that reveals a new blueprint for offering guidance on Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).

Framework for Policy to Reduce Disruptions

The new policy framework creates a legal pathway for recipients of authorised petitions for employment-based immigrant visas who experience delays because of shortages in visa supply.

The programme, which intends to lessen the disruptive effects of sudden job loss or other undesirable conditions that may jeopardise their status, may prove to be a crucial lifeline for Indian employees in the US.

Benefits for Professionals from India

This policy change will mostly benefit Indian professionals on H-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant visas who are currently employed in the US.

They may apply for EADs under compelling circumstances, such as serious illness or incapacity, employment disagreement or retribution, other considerable injury to the applicant, or major disruption to the employer, according to the amended provisions listed in the press statement released by USCIS.

Immigrants' Financial Assistance in the Event of Job Loss

Although the possibility of a sudden job loss for immigrants from India is sometimes clouded by uncertainty, this policy measure acts as a safety net, ensuring their financial stability as they make their way towards more secure prospects.

The guideline also specifies the types of proof that applicants can offer to present strong arguments.

These may be documentation attesting to the possible hardship should they be required to sell their home at a loss, disrupt their children's education, and move to India, such as records of enrolment in school or further education or mortgage documents.

The Realistic Approach of USCIS

This new USCIS regulation represents a practical means of addressing the plight of immigrant employees, particularly those from India, who account for a sizeable section of the US IT workforce.

The policy emphasises further that someone with a valid EAD based on compelling circumstances won't accrue unlawful presence, protecting them from unforeseen setbacks on their path to permanent residency.

Dependents able to obtain EADs

Additionally, by allowing their relatives to apply for EADs under certain circumstances, this action increases security for these professionals' families in the usually difficult immigration landscape.

What Individuals Can Benefit from the Policy?

According to the policy's specifics, applicants who are the primary beneficiaries of an accepted Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in either the first, second, or third employment-based preference category, are also eligible.

When submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, applicants must be in possession of an authorised grace period or a valid E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, O-1, or L-1 nonimmigrant status. Click here for further details on the eligibility requirements.

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