COVID-19 Effect – H1B Visa Holders Can Now Renew Their Visa On US Soil

Good times are here for H-1B visa holders whose visas are almost due for renewal, as the USCIS temporarily changes its rules regarding H1B Visa renewals.

Before now, renewal of H-1B visas required that holders go back to their respective countries and do the processing from there. However, respite appears to have come to them as the US Department of State announces that they can simply march down to the United States Customs Immigration Services (USCIS) for the renewal of their visas.

This development comes on the heels of lock-downs and travel restrictions on international flights all around the world. These restrictions become essential as many countries, including the US, put up fights to forestall the further spread of the infectious Coronavirus – officially regarded as COVID-19 – that has been on the rampage since December last year.

In an interview granted by a security official of a Department of Homeland, DHS, the official described the new development by the USCIS as a very suitable, in light of the current state of the country and that of the globe at large. He pointed out that if it were to be two months ago, travelers whose visas are almost due for expiration would have been put on the next available flights back to their countries. But in light of current circumstances, that would be inequitable and unjust.

The new development is to the effect that H-1B visa holders whose home country’s flights have already been taken down can go to the USCIS and request for an extension to their visas.

Earlier before this announcement, a senior DHS official already hinted about the novel development when he said the department would support steps for safer working conditions in light of the pandemic and that he expected the USCIS to take that into account while deciding on whether people on an H-1B visa could telecommute.

This development is indeed a massive relief for the H-1B visa holders who’ve already been forced to carry out their official responsibilities virtually.

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  • April 2nd, 2020
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