The latest H1 visa proposal blow creates uncertainties for foreign techies

The latest H1 visa proposal blow creates uncertainties for foreign techies

Recently, the Trump administration announced through the Department of Homeland Security that the administration is considering preventing the extension of H1 visas. This is being done in accordance with the promise made by Trump during his 2016 campaign of keeping American jobs for the natives. Although fulfilment of campaign promises is usually seen as a good sign in any presidency, this proposal can end up sending back 500,000 or even more skilled employees to their countries. “The idea is to create a sort of ‘self- deportation’ of hundreds of thousands of Indian tech workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans,” said a U.S. source briefed by Homeland Security officials. According to latest reports, the proposal, which is a part of the “Buy American, Hire American” initiative from Trump’s campaign is being drafted by the leaders of Department of Homeland Security.

What are H-1 visas?

The US H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows certain graduates to enter the US and work as professionals in various fields like IT, architecture, medicine, engineering, science, accounting, and finance. As long as the visa holder is a graduate and has a Bachelors in the mentioned field, they are eligible to work for a minimum of 3 years which can be later extended for another 3 years. Unlike other visas, for this, the employer has to petition for it 6 months before the visa is granted. Employers petition for H-1B when there are shortages of highly skilled professional Americans.

Effects of the proposal

This proposal can be actually passed by the Trump administration. If we go by the rules, the proposal is meant for curbing more than just the extension of the foreign employee’s stay. The administration has full authority to amend the rules as the H-1B visas were meant to curb the skilled worker’s shortage in the US and not as a way for visa holders to get immigration status. However, completely denying the extension to all the visa holders will not only send a maximum number of skilled professionals back to their countries but it can also affect the US economy. Many of these workers are small business owners who employ US citizens and help the growth of the country’s economy. Sending them back can result in a downfall which is yet to be analyzed. Some of these previous visa holders are now heading the biggest tech giants in the world. Which is the reason why the administrations before Trump worked in the favor of the visa to get more talent into the country?


Ever since the news of possible changes and additional regulations in the H-1B visa segment came up after a US-based news agency McClatchey’s DC Bureau reported it last month, there are many parties that have voiced their opposition to the same. One comes from the US Chamber of Commerce which said, “It would tremendously be a bad policy to tell highly skilled individuals who are applying for permanent residency and have been working in the US for several years that they are no longer welcome. This policy would harm American business, our economy, and the country,” the chamber said in a statement. “Further, it is inconsistent with the goals of a more merit-based immigration system.” Meanwhile, even certain advocacy groups and lawmakers have criticized the plan that could easily self-deport 500,000 Indian Americans and said that such a plan will drain America of talent.

The voice of concern also comes from several congressmen holding office most of whom are of Indian origin. “Imposing these draconian restrictions on H-1B visa holders will tear families apart, drain our society of talent and expertise, and damage our relationship with an important partner, India.” Said Tulsi Gabbard, an influential Democratic Congresswoman. “The proposal could lead to the deportation of an estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders, many of whom are small business owners and job creators who are helping to build and strengthen our US economy. This brain drain will stifle innovation and decrease our ability to compete in the global 21st-century economy,” Gabbard said.

Another Indian-origin Congressman, Raja Krishnamoorthi put a very important point across. He said while it is important to improve and increase domestic employment, such a proposal can lead to kneecapping of American economy and discouraging companies from making bigger investments in the country. “I hope the administration immediately rejects the proposal,” he said.

No current distress among foreign techies

Currently, many foreign nationals working on the H-1B visa are not worried about the proposal. Many feel that amendment of the H-1B visa law and introducing new regulations is being done to strengthen the process and is not against visa holders as of now. They feel the administration is making good on their campaign promise in 2016 of curbing misuse of H-1B visas. Over the years, IT industry has seen the most number of H-1B visa holders and those who have lived for more than 6 years later go on to apply for Green card, eventually landing a US citizenship. As no big change is made overnight, foreign nationals in the US are currently optimistic about the administration considering how the end proposal can affect the status of current visa holders and their families. This stand on the news of the proposal that has shaken people in good position is a sharp contrast to how the nationals felt once Trump won the election back in 2016. An engineer who has been working on H-1B visa with a hardware giant for over eight years now, says, “There are no H-1B woes really. We (Indian techies) are all at a stage where we don’t want to keep worrying about this. We will see what to do if at all an order gets passed or this proposal becomes law.” Another New York-based executive working in a US-based financial firm mentions “Nothing related to H1B is being prominently reported and they are looking at immigration issues at a holistic level. Sometimes the H1B issues are seen by the liberals as a tool for filling technology requirements, while for the right wing conservation side, it is seen as something that is being misused by foreigners, specifically Indians.” Some also feel the step is being taken considering the Indian IT industry that misuses the visa regulation to get cheap labor working in the US, something the industry still denies.

The USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) can approve more than 330,000 visas each year and this year alone validated more than 680,000 by April 2017. A big share of these visas goes to the Indians which makes this proposal stressful for the techies living in the US. 82% of the H-1B visas are given to Indians which is why this proposal is more likely to affect the whole foreign Indian professionals living in the US. A total of 2,237,478 H1B visas from 2007-2017 were given to Indians alone and 302,293 of those were in 2017. The effects of such changes on the foreign nationals are something to be established once and if the proposal goes to the floor for approval.

About Author:
George W. Abbes is one of the top immigration lawyers in the US with over 30 years of experience in Immigration law and Criminal defense





Criminal Immigration Lawyer USA on Why Immigrants Duck Crime

It is a common misbelief that immigrants commit a crime. Criminal immigration lawyer, USA, Mr. Abbes believes that immigrants, no matter whether they are legal residents or illegal ones shy away from committing a crime because they are more afraid than one might guess. Have a look at five core reasons why immigrants avoid getting involved in a crime.

  1.  It May Highlights Them: Most immigrants avoid crime because it may bring them to the limelight and the authorities might realize that they are not legally living in the US.
  2.   It May Endangers Their Safety: Many immigrants also don’t feel safe in the country and are a part of a minority among a largely American community so they believe that if they are convicted of a crime, the white Americans might harm them.
  3.   It May Harm Their Loved Ones: According to criminal immigration lawyer, USA, Mr. Abbes immigrants also avoid crime because they know that their families might be targeted if they are involved in a crime, and they don’t expect their family members to go to the authorities if they are being harassed because they also don’t want the limelight.
  4.    It May Lead to Deportation and Removal: Most immigrants also shy away from crime because they know that in many criminal cases, the accused id directly deported by the ICE even without a hearing in the court. They don’t want to leave the prosperity the US has offered them.
  5.    It May Harm Their Blending Attempts: Criminal immigration lawyer, USA, Mr. Abbes also thinks that most immigrants like to be a part of the American community and you can see that by witnessing how many non-Americans are preparing for the Halloween feast right now. So, if they commit a crime, it would reduce their chances of being a part of the American community and harm their reputation.

If you are an immigrant who is accused or even convicted of a crime then you should hire a criminal immigration lawyer, USA, Mr. Abbes to ensure you don’t get thrown out of the US and your family remains safe.


5 Reasons Why Hiring Immigration Lawyer in Cypress Will Become Necessary After Social Media Scrutiny Comes into Effect

The US Department of Homeland Security will start scrutinizing the search results and social media information by including it among the immigration records from October 18, 2017. This policy will have an impact on permanent residents, naturalized citizens and all individuals who are going through the immigration process.

The aim of this new policy is to streamline the immigration recordkeeping in order to allow DHS agency to consolidate all official records into one major record. According to this policy, the agency will have access to search results, social media handles, associated identifiable information and aliases.

If this change has put doubts in your mind regarding your entry or stay in the US then you will do better if you hire an immigration lawyer in Cypress.  Here are 5 reasons why taking this step is a good idea.


  • To know what to reveal


An immigration lawyer in Cypress will be able to guide you on what information do you need to reveal. It will ensure that you remain prepared for sharing your personal information and it doesn’t come as a shock. It will also ensure that you don’t accidentally hide any information from the authorities and make them suspect your intentions.


  • To know viability of electronic security tricks


There are many security tricks that will come in handy when your electronic devices are being scanned. One such trick is to lock the file manager of your device so that your pictures, videos and other stuff that’s not necessary to share can remain hidden. A good immigration lawyer in Cypress will guide you on whether using these tricks are a good option or it will irritate the officers.


  • To avoid detention, deportation and removal


It is a known fact that if the immigration officials suspect that you are hiding something, they have the power to detain you as well as carry out deportation and removal. Having the contact information of an immigration lawyer in Cypress will be handy in such situations as you will be able to contact your attorney to help you get out of the bad situation.


  • No fake accounts


Some people make the mistake of searching for ways to hide required information from the officials over the internet and trying them for real. One of such tricks is to create fake accounts and hide your real accounts on social media platforms. An immigration lawyer in Cypress will steer you away from such useless hacks because if you are caught, the consequences will be dire.


  • Peace of mind


Finally, hiring an immigration lawyer in Cypress would mean that you could be assured of following the everchanging immigration law and doing everything right. When you do everything right, your chances of entering or remaining in the US will increase. You can even ask the attorney to help you with other matters like filling appropriate forms correctly, submitting your documents, clearing an interview, etc.


California Immigrants Seeking Shelter Won’t be Deported: ICE

Northern California fires are making headlines these days and so are immigrants who are afraid to seek help because they fear deportation and removal. ICE has mentioned that it won’t target immigrants until the case is severe. Counties are also reassuring immigrants so that they can seek help from the government and not remain hidden while the calamity hits them.

The Fires

The fires have displaced thousands of people, claimed 31 lives and charred more than 200,000 acres of land. Officials are doing all they can to ensure that the residents remain safe by ensuring that they pack necessities ahead of time and abide by the mandatory evacuation orders.

A Unique Challenge

An extraordinary challenge faced by these officials is that many immigrants are refusing to seek help and leave their homes because they fear that immigration authorities would find them and start their deportation and removal process.

The Numbers

About 50,000 immigrants are living illegally in Sonoma and Napa County says the Public Policy Institute of California. Many of these people are agricultural laborers who help in harvesting grapes.

The Reassurance

Officials are reassuring those immigrants that they can avoid the fires and get rid of the fear of running into immigrant authorities. Sonoma County is stressing that evacuation shelters don’t need your immigrant status. So, if you are an immigrant, you must visit them while trying to avoid the fires.

ICE’s Assurance

The much-feared ICE- Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also stated that routine immigration operations are being suspended in scorched areas. The only individuals targeted in these areas are serious criminals who are a threat to public safety. ICE would also not visit shelters or food banks.

Closing the Language Gap

As many illegal immigrants don’t understand English, Spanish language advisories and alerts are helping people to understand that they can get help and not be afraid of any repercussions.

California and Federal Government

California and the federal government have a stressed relationship at the moment regarding immigration. State officials have made it a sanctuary state which makes it difficult for ICE to seek cooperation from local police officers and jails. It has also sued Trump administration regarding its immigration proposals.

The federal government retaliated by assigning more resources and conducting at large arrests that result in additional collateral arrests rather than just arrests at prisons and jails.

Seek the Best Advice

If you are an immigrant who needs protection from ICE and the fires then you can contact Mr. Abbes, a leading immigration lawyer in Fullerton who caters to clients from various parts of California and helps them to stay in the country. His specializations include deportation and removal defense, immigration & criminal convictions, family-based immigration, deferred action, criminal immigration consultations, citizenship and change of status.

immigration lawyer for change of status

Immigration Lawyer for Change of Status in USA Speaks on Change of Status to F1

Renowned immigration lawyer for change of status, Mr. George W. Abbes recently spoke on change of status to F-1, it’s needed, who should apply for it and what will be the documents needed. This information would surely help scores of aspirants who have dreams of staying legally in the US and pursuing a quality education.

Starting off with explaining who is an F-1 student, Mr. Abbes said “An F-1 student is a non-immigrant who is pursuing a full course of study with an aim to achieve a certain professional or educational objective at an academic institution based in the US. Once the course is completed, and the desired objectives are met, an F-1 student is expected to return to his or her own country.”

Elaborating on how a student can get F-1 Status, Mr. Abbes, a reputed immigration lawyer for change of status said “A student can get the F-1 status by making use of Form I-20 which must be issued by a US school where a student is planning to enroll. You can obtain this status in two ways, first is to enter the US with your 1-20 and an F-1 visa obtained at a U.S. consulate abroad and the second is to apply for change of nonimmigrant status if you are already in the US and can’t travel. The application should be made to the USCIS. If you go for the second option, you will be smart to stay in the US until the completion of your course because if you leave the US during the duration, you will need to apply for an F-1 visa at US consulate when you wish to re-netter the US.”

Sharing details on who can apply for change of status to F-1, Mr. Abbes said “Any non-immigrant except C, K, D, M or sometimes J status and those who entered the US as per Visa Waiver Program are eligible for change of status to F-1 if that person has maintained lawful non-immigrant status until the time of the application. If you are a non-immigrant who falls under G, A or NATO status then you need to complete Form 1-566 and make sure that’s endorsed by not only the foreign mission to the U.S. but the Department of State as well.”

Explaining the documentation needed for the process, Mr. Abbes, a reputed immigration lawyer for change of status, said “You need the following documents to ensure that your application is accepted. Be sure only to share authentic documents and not be tempted by forged options as these can be easily detected by the authorities and may land you in prison.”

  • G-1145 which is the E-Notification of Application Acceptance
  • A one-page cover letter explaining why a person needs to get F-1 status. It can include a checklist of documentation included in application
  • USCIS Form I-539 Application to change or extend nonimmigrant status that includes an application fee as well.
  • Proof or financial support such as an assistantship letter or a bank statement.
  • A copy of the admission letter generated by a US University.
  • A copy of F-1 I-20 that has signature on student attestation section
  • Copy of a receipt that confirms payment of SEVIS fee
  • Copies of waiver of the 212(e), if it’s applicable
  • Copies of all immigration documents
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