From Monday, the US would start implementing a new rule which allows initiation of deportation process of people whose legal status to stay in America has expired for reasons such as denial of visa extension application or change in status, officials said.
However in a relief to H-1B visa holders, a federal agency tasked with this said that for the time being this policy will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), tasked with granting visa or its extension to non-immigrants, said on Wednesday that they will start taking an incremental approach to implement the new rule from 1 October.
Under the new rule, they will issue notices to appear (NTA) to people whose applications regarding visa extension or changes in status have been denied.
NTA, in immigration law parlance, is considered the first step towards deportation of foreign nationals who do not have valid papers to legally stay in the US. It is a document that instructs an individual to appear before an immigration judge.
Given that in recent months, applications of extension of H-1B visa holders have been denied, a significant number of whom are Indian nationals, the new rule could have a major impact on Indians living in the US. But for the time being, issue of NTA to those categories have been put on hold.
USCIS said it will send denial letters for status-impacting applications that ensures benefit seekers are provided adequate notice when an application for a benefit is denied.
It said it will provide details on how applicants can review information regarding their period of authorised stay, check travel compliance, or validate departure from the US.
The federal agency will continue to prioritise cases of individuals with criminal records, fraud, or national security concerns.
“There has been no change to the current processes for issuing NTAs on these case types, and USCIS will continue to use its discretion in issuing NTAs for these cases,” it said.