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US to reverse some denials of H1B visas

Reports say the US will accept applications for work-based green cards filed by skilled workers in early July.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Washington
UPDATED ON JUL 17, 2007 12:00 PM IST

The US will reserve some denials of work visas, a positive move to resolve the messy immigration tangle, The Wall Street Journal said.

The government will accept at least some applications for work-based green cards that were filed by thousands of skilled workers in early July at the government's invitation and then abruptly rejected, according to the report published on Monday.

Tens of thousands of skilled workers, many of them in the US on temporary H1B visas, responded to an official invitation, in a June 12 "visa bulletin" issued by the State Department, to take the final step in July toward attaining permanent US residency.

That sent workers, their families and their employers scrambling to compile paperwork and meet other requirements such as medical exams. Normally, eligible employment-sponsored workers wait years for their numbers to be called, according to the report.

Then, July 2, as applications poured into processing centres, the State Department announced in a bulletin "update" that no employment-based immigrant visas were left for the fiscal year ending Sep 30 because of "sudden backlog reduction" by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

USCIS announced it would reject applications that it received.

The July 2 decision has provoked outrage among immigration lawyers, foreign workers and their employers.

The report quoted people familiar with the situation as saying that officials are working out the final details of a plan that would at least partially rectify the problem.

But it isn't clear whether the immigration agency will now accept all applications and process them later, accept only those that have arrived, or come up with some other approach, the report added.

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