USCIS rescinds Trump-era policy that denied certain visa applications
Acting USCIS director Tracy Renaud said in a statement that the latest policy updates are consistent with the Biden administration's priorities to eliminate unnecessary barriers to the “legal immigration system.”
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that it would rescind a 2018 Trump-era policy that allowed agency officers to reject visa applications, including the H1-B, instead of first issuing a request for evidence (RFE) and notice of intent to deny (NOID). The immigration agency said that its updated policy is aimed at clarifying the criteria and circumstances for expedited processing, improving RFE and NOID guidance, and increasing the validity period for certain employment authorization documents (EADs).
“We are taking action to eliminate policies that fail to promote access to the legal immigration system, and will continue to make improvements that help individuals navigate the path to citizenship, and that modernize our immigration system,” Alejandro N. Mayorkas, secretary of US homeland security, said in a statement.
The H-1B visa, popular among Indian IT companies and professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China. There are other immigrant visas as well which were impacted by the Trump-era policy, like the L1, H-2B, J-1, J-2, I, F and O.
The Biden administration has undone several Trump-era immigration policies, including the suspension of employment-based nonimmigrant visas. USCIS is now returning to the adjudicative principles of a June 2013 memo that instructed agency officers to issue an RFE or NOID when additional evidence could potentially demonstrate eligibility for an immigration benefit, the agency said on Wednesday. USCIS further stated that the updated policy will ensure that requestors are given an opportunity to correct innocent mistakes and unintentional omissions.
Acting USCIS director Tracy Renaud said in a statement that the latest policy updates are consistent with the Biden administration's priorities to eliminate unnecessary barriers to the “legal immigration system.” “USCIS is committed to promoting policies and procedures that ensure we operate in a fair, efficient, and humane manner that reflects America’s heritage as a land of opportunity for those who seek it,” added Renaud.
(With PTI inputs)