Effective May 4, 2022, the Joe Biden-led US government has extended work permits for certain categories of immigrants, including those seeking green cards and spouses of H-1B visa holders, for an additional 18 months. Many immigrants will be able to use their expired work visas for the following 18 months under this provision. It has come as a blessing for many working Indians looking for a safe haven in the United States where they may continue to work and survive without fear of legal interruption.
The Homeland Security Department made the announcement on May 3, reported PTI. The interim policy is meant to acknowledge the unprecedented 1 million immigrant applications submitted to the legal immigration agency of the country. A hundred thousand people will get a legal chance to work via this interim policy, thus solving the problem of labour shortages.
The rule states that all the immigrants with a lapsed 180 days extension, and an expired work permit will be given an extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorisation Card (EAD) validity. Those non-citizens who are still under the previous extension period of 180 days will be given an additional 360 days, which totals up to 540 days, and will gain an extension for EAD validity. Those who have a valid EAD and have applied for the renewal of it will be given a 540 days extension if the renewal fails to process before the expiration of EAD.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits US employers to hire foreign workers for specialised jobs that require theoretical or technical knowledge and each year, technology companies rely on it to hire tens of thousands of workers from countries like India and China. Also, the H-1B visa programme is the most sought-after work visa among foreign professionals, including Indians.