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Layoffs of USCIS officials and reduction in hiring by US companies will impact Indian techies a lot

In the current situation, the US companies have reduced hiring to a greater extent. The officials who process visas are also being furloughed. Both these things can have adverse effects on the Indian techies who wants to go to the USA.

Previously, last week the American Federation of Government Employees which consists of 70,000 employees have pointed out that around 11,000 officials of USCIS will be part of the layoffs. Being a self-funded agency, the USCIS depends on the application fees for all its activities. The current fee schedule could bring an amount of $3.41 billion in the form of average annual revenue for USCIS, in FY20

An immigration lawyer said that if these layoffs indeed happen, this will delay the visa renewal process for people whose visas are set to expire in the near future.

Since the last decade, visa applications have consistently increased every year. This indicates the continued demand from the tech workers to go and work for US companies. In March 2020, the USCIS has received around 217,000 H1B-visa applications. In FY19, around 190,000 applications were received.

Every year around 65,000 H1B visas and 20,000 L1 visas are granted. This number includes the renewals as well. Also, the US government will give 60 days for the renewal of visas

USCIS have seen an increase in Visa applications each and every year since the last decade

With the widespread of coronavirus, most of the companies have stopped hiring. According to a survey by the US Labor Department, around 40 million Americans have lost jobs since March.

According to the 2016 census data, around 2.3 million immigrant workers are working in the US and 25% of them which is 5.75 lakh workers are from India. These people will be affected a lot if the extensions of visas are delayed.

In the worst-case scenario, for some of the individuals, it is taking 8-10 months for processing the visas. People are complaining that if these processing times increase further, the job vacancies will be filled by then.

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