A presidential commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders recently approved a provision. The recommended provision encouraged the stamping of H-1B visas inside the US. However, the recommendation must still receive the president’s approval before moving forward. Nevertheless, if accepted, this provision may prove helpful for many foreign professionals, especially those from India.
An H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US employers to hire foreign professionals. Immigrants using this visa would work in specialty occupations in the US when there are not enough qualified American workers to fill the roles. For example, technology companies frequently use these visas to obtain enough workers to fill available jobs.
Before acquiring an active H-1B status, individuals must apply for a visa stamp at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad. However, those looking to get new or renew their H-1B visas typically wait a long time. For example, in India, immigrants often wait over a year.
This extended wait can result in family separations. In severe cases, individuals fear returning to their home country even for serious reasons, such as visiting sick relatives or attending funerals. This fear stems from not wanting to delay their chances for a visa appointment. Furthermore, they could lose their job if they visit their home country and get stuck for an extended period. In cases like this, any family left in the US would lose their primary means of support. Unfortunately, this situation can happen to anyone with the right to work in the US.
Currently, the USCIS received a recommendation to return to its policy from years ago, which allowed the USCIS to stamp and extend visas in the US. The return of this policy would enable H-1B visa holders to renew their visas more easily by having them stamped in the US, providing more stability for their families. In addition, the government could also consider providing advanced travel documents for H-1B visa holders traveling outside of the US with expired visa stamping. This allowance would allow these visa holders to reenter the US without having their visa re-stamped in their home country.
Employers that hire H-1B visa holders must complete a significant amount of paperwork. One of the most confusing documents to complete is the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9). This form can be challenging due to the ever-changing regulations and the different documents an employee may present. The easiest way to ensure correctly filled Form I-9s is to use an electronic I-9 management system. This system will guide hiring personnel through the entire process and safely and securely store the document until it is needed.
Make things a little less complicated for your business by automating your employment eligibility verification and ensuring compliance with I-9 Compliance.