Indian workers seek US visa extensions in corona crisis

Capitol Hill

Immigration Voice suggests calling senators to ensure inclusion in Senate relief package.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought along a slew of new problems. While people are trying to keep themselves healthy and safe, there is also an increasing anxiety among Indian workers in the US about losing work status owing to soon expiring visas or delayed extensions.

Immigration attorneys and immigration think tanks are trying hard to find a solution. To ensure that visa holders do not bear the brunt of this calamity, several immigration groups are suggesting calls to senators to voice their concerns.

RELATED: H-1B holders seek 180-day grace period in Corona crisis (March 24, 2020)

Last week, Immigration Voice, an immigration-related non-profit reported that they were able to get a visa-related provision inserted in phase 3 coronavirus bill in the House. The group is now trying to get this provision that extends the validity of all visa petitions & employment authorization documents inserted into the Senate package too.

Many immigrants working in crucial healthcare sectors fear losing their jobs or work status and are asking for automatic extension of their status. They are hoping for the provision to pass so that they can continue their stay and their jobs without fear of re-locating during the crisis.

ALSO READ: Immigration Voice lobbying for automatic extension of H-1B, H-4 EAD for one year during COVID-19 crisis (March 25, 2020)

Explaining the efforts, Aman Kapoor from Immigration Voice told the American Bazaar, “Yes, we have been advocating to include the reasonable provision to automatically extend the status of tax-paying law-abiding skilled immigrants because of USCIS offices being closed.”

“This is called ‘Do no harm’ provision,” he said, “meaning no new immigrant gets the advantage/benefit from the current situation, but at the same time, the current pandemic will not hurt anyone either.”

“So, the legal immigrants can continue to contribute in the economy and shoulder the burden at the time of crisis,” Kapoor added.

A lot of immigrants stuck in the backlog are healthcare professionals, doctors, researchers and nurses, who are at the front lines of fighting the coronavirus and risking their own lives to provide healthcare to Americans.

“Our provision was included in the House bill, but the latest information is that it has not yet made into the Senate bill, although we are still trying our best to implore of the better nature of the Senate offices,” Kapoor said.

 

One Comment

  1. HossCartwright

    Bill just passed this portion left off!!!!

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