In a move that will make it difficult for the renewal of H-1B and L1 visas, the Trump administration has announced that the burden of proof lies on the applicant even when an extension is sought. Revoking its more than 13-year-old policy, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said the burden of proof in establishing eligibility is, at all times, on the petitioner. USCIS added that the previous directive placed the burden on this federal agency.
“This memorandum makes it clear that the burden of proof remains on the petitioner, even where an extension of non-immigrant status is sought,” USCIS said in its latest memorandum issued on October 23.
Under the previous directive, a person would usually be considered for extension of their visa if she/he was was once found to be eligible for a work visa initially.
But now, during every extension, the applicant needs to prove that they are still eligible for the visa they apply for. President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association William Stock told PTI the change is being made retroactively to people already living in the country and not just to new visa applicants.
“In adjudicating petitions for immigration benefits, including non-immigrant petition extensions, adjudicators
must, in all cases, thoroughly review the petition and supporting evidence to determine eligibility for the benefit
sought. “The burden of proof in establishing eligibility is, at all times, on the petitioner,” the USCIS said.
The new directive is in sync with the Donald Trump administration’s goal to protect American workers from discrimination and replacement by foreign labour, NumberUSA website said.
(With PTI inputs)
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