White House petition seeks 180 days H-1B visa grace period

The petition to help Indian professionals during COVID-19 crisis has a goal of 100,000 signatures.

As America imposes ever new travel restrictions to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, workers and professionals from all walks of life are experiencing delays, job losses and assignment derails.

During these extraordinary times, many of those professionals who are in the US working on a visa are among the hardest hit.

There have been hundreds of cases of people on H-1B visa who are now in a limbo as their H-1B petitions have been denied or they have suffered a job loss.

Keeping in mind these extremely trying situations being faced by some on work visas currently, a new petition has been launched on the white House.

It requests the Congress to extend the H-1B grace period to 180 days on a temporary basis to help people from getting stranded or accumulating unlawful stay during the Coronavirus breakout.

RELATED LINK: “Temporarily extend the 60-Day H1B Visa Grace period to 180 Days”

Under current regulations, H-1B workers have a 60-day grace period of unemployment time during which they can stay in the US.

New Jersey based Dan Nandan, who runs Hire IT People Inc, started this petition as he felt that many on H-1B visas are facing extraordinary situations right now.

“Many H1Bs are now in a dire situation and many face lay-offs,” he said. “I am not sure how they are protected from termination, I guess they are not.”

“If they cannot find employment in 60 days, it helps in extension of time until the COVID vanishes. So, they can be here avoiding leaving the country in the current situation.”

Neha Shah, a member of an immigration related chat group says she has been seeing a lot of visa related hardships in the forums.

“Some of these people need to exit to ensure no unlawful stay in the US, but are helpless as their home countries are closing borders as a precaution to Coronavirus,” she said.

There are still others with spouses stranded in India who had visited a few weeks ago, when the situation was not bad and are now unable to travel back to the US now.

Within a few hours of its launch, more than 1,000 people signed the petition with a goal of 100,000 signatures.

“Most H-1B workers are from India and cannot travel home with children who are US citizens as many countries announced an entry ban, including India,” the petition says.

“We request the government to temporarily extend the 60-day grace period to 180 days and protect the H-1B workers under these difficult times.”

RELATED POSTS:

The different types of college students and their reactions to COVID-19 (March 20, 2020)

India bans travel from US, rest of the world beginning March 22 for one week (March 19, 2020)

India’s visa suspension creates anxiety, confusion in the U.S. (March 13, 2020)

Indian Americans step forward to help in COVID-19 crisis (March 17, 2020)

India’s Kerala state shows how to fight Coronavirus  (March 18, 2020)

Coronavirus starts a toilet paper run in North America (March 13, 2020)

Hundreds of Coronavirus fighting Indian doctors stuck in green card backlog (March 18, 2020)

India’s visa suspension creates anxiety, confusion in the U.S. (March 13, 2020)

How India lover Elizabeth Schneider survived dreaded Coronavirus (March 12, 2020)

Religious institutions live stream prayer services amid Coronavirus shut down (March 15, 2020)

Indian American led team translating COVID-19 info in 30 languages (March 17, 2020)

Hum some desi tunes to fight Coronavirus blues! (March 17, 2020)

5 Comments

  1. I hope they extend the grace period. This is sometimes very important for many people at this time.

  2. This situation with the work visas and lockdown (and potential loss of employment, uncertainty, etc.) due to coronavirus is indeed causing major disruptions to many Indians (who comprise majority of US workforce on work visa like H-1B). However, consider this – 3.3 million Americans (this number is a lot higher than the number of folks on work visa) filed for unemployment claims this week. The US government, whether Democrat or Republican, will give its own citizens first preference when it comes to employment. Instead of asking for extension (as stated in the petition), you must force your congressman or senator to work on a solution to overhaul the entire immigration system and not put bandaids on top of bandaids.

  3. Bhuvana Ravikumar

    These are unusual circumstances for the whole world due to Covid 19.Laws can be changed to protect the integrity, livelihood and mental balance of thousands of people stranded because of immigration laws. US should immediately consider to reach out to all these Indians stranded because of H1B guidelines and help them from unnecessary anxiety and depression due to these global gloomy days.

  4. It is way past time to end the H-1B

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.