American Jewish Committee Requests Extension of H1-B Visa Grace Period for Laid-off Indians


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Apr 04, 2023 01:54 PM IST

In an interesting turn of events, the US Jewish Community called the American Jewish Committee, has extended its support for the laid-off Indian tech professionals. Sending out a letter in coordination with the Indian diaspora, the AJC outlined the importance of the experience and contribution that the Indian professionals have made to the IT sector and the US economy as well.

American Jewish Committee Requests Extension of H1-B Visa Grace Period for Laid-off Indians

The US-based Jewish community has aided the Indian techies who had been laid off in the past few months. The American Jewish Committee (AJC) requested the immigration authorities in the US to offer a one-year grace period for the laid-off Indian skilled professionals from the current two-month grace period.

Jason F Isaacson, the Chief Policy Political Affairs Officer at AJC, wrote a letter to the USCIS in coordination with the Indian diaspora outfit. In the letter, Isaacson highlighted the unfortunate mass lay-offs that took place at US tech giants, where a large number of “foreign national parents of US-born children have to relocate to their home countries with their families, after the expiration of their current two-month grace period on their H-1B visas".

Also Read: Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Allowed to Work in the United States

Isaacson spoke of the restriction the minimal grace period imposes on the highly-skilled and motivated workers. He highlighted his opinion on the matter, Isaacson also commented on the inability of the foreign nationals to find employment to retain their status, which will deny the US access to skilled and qualified workers. He further painted the importance of the foreign national workers for their contributions and future contributions to the US economy, which has helped the US to stay ahead in cutting-edge technological leadership.

The letter also highlighted the strategic partnership between the US and Israel and India, the country of origin for the majority of foreign nationals that had been laid off. Asking USCIS to consider the challenges faced by the laid-off H-1B holders and extend the grace period by one year from the current two-month grace period. The letter stated that the extension will allow a large portion of Indian professionals to find opportunities.

Citing the success stories of leading Indian professionals in the US, such as Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Isaacson backed the importance of the experience that many of the laid-off workers possess, which will significantly impact strengthen the country’s economy.

Talking to the Indian Express, Isaacson emphasised the effort Indian professionals have taken to travel to the US, work in the IT sector and contribute to the growth of the sector as well as the US economy. He called the process of taking so much effort just to have two months to retain their visa on account of losing a job “cruel and a terrible burden”.

Also Read: H-1B Visa Including Master's Cap Reached for 2024: USCIS

Responding to several requests to extend the grace period, USCIS had earlier sent out a press release highlighting the different steps the laid-off H-1B workers can take to extend their stay in the US. According to the press release, the workers can apply for a "compelling circumstances" employment authorization document, file an application for a change of non-immigrant status, be the beneficiary of a non-frivolous petition to change employer or file an application for adjustment of status.

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Source: Indian Express

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