‘No modification being considered’
The U.S. has no plans under consideration to discontinue the extension of H-1B visas beyond six years, when beneficiaries apply for permanent residency — green card — authorities clarified on Monday.
A spokesperson of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the non-immigrant, temporary worker visa programme, said in a statement: “USCIS is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing our interpretation of section 104(c) of AC-21, which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the six-year limit.” ‘AC-21’ or the ‘American Competitiveness in the Twenty First Century Act’ is the law passed by the U.S. Congress in 2000, which also governs the extension of H-1B visas.
“Even if it were (considering changes to section 104-c), such a change would not likely result in these H-1B visa holders having to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under section 106(a)-(b) of AC-21 instead,” Jonathan Withington, chief of media relations for USCIS, told The Hindu .
The section on three-year extensions uses the word ‘may’ which could allow some discretion by the executive but there is a separate section in the same Act that allows one-year extensions in which the executive has no discretion.