US-H1B visa: America issues clarification on higher education exemption


In response to a petition in this regard by Leena R Kamat from California, a clarification memorandum from the USCIS was released, who temporarily sought to employee people under H- 1B visas having higher education.

The trump administration in US clarified that, the conferring institution must have qualified as a "United States institution of higher education" in order to qualify for an H-1B numerical cap exemption based upon a master's or higher degree at the time the beneficiary's degree was earned. The US Citizenship and immigration Services (USCIS) can issue up to 65,000 H-1B visas, the most sought-after by Indian IT professionals, every year, as mandated by the Congress.

Additionally, another 20,000 foreign students having masters or higher degree from a US institute of higher education are exempted from the 65,000 Congressional limit. A memorandum clarifying was issued by the USCIS that came in response to a petition in this regard by Leena R Kamat from California who temporarily sought to employee people under H- 1B visas having higher education.

The Director of the California Service Center denied the H-1B petition, reasoning that the beneficiary who claimed for master’s cap exemption didn’t qualify for the same. The Director determined more specifically that the degree-conferring institution was not accredited at the time it awarded the beneficiary’s master’s degree, and as required, thus the beneficiary had not earned his degree from a “United States institution of higher education”.

According to the US memorandum which was dated on May 23, was released to the press, the USCIS ruled that the H-1B applicant had earned his degree from the International Technological University (ITU), in California, on December 31, 2010, before the university obtained its pre-accreditation or accreditation status.

A letter was stored in the record from ITU, stating that the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) granted ITU “Candidacy status” in 2011.

In April, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa programme to stop “visa abuses”.

Trump already stated that his administration is going to enforce ‘Hire American’ rules that are designed to protect jobs and wages of workers in the US.

The executive order also called upon the Departments of Labour, Justice, Homeland Security, and the state to take action against fraud and abuse of our visa programmes. 

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  Modified On Mar-20-2018 01:54:41 AM

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