Biden admin lifts Trump-era regulation on US visa rejections


As good news to thousands of visa applicants to the US, the Biden administration has lifted a regulation that allowed immigration officers to reject visa applications (including the H1-B) instead of first issuing a notice of intent to deny to the applicants.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has formally removed the regulation which was initially proposed by former US President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, June 9, The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a statement mentioning that it was updating its policies around expedited processing of applications, changing the guidance around Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs), and increasing the validity period for certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).

The change in policy means that the applicants will now be given an opportunity to correct mistakes and unintentional omissions. This move comes as a major relief to H1B visa seekers in India.

The H1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to hire foreign workers from countries like India and China. This visa is more popular among IT companies and professionals. There are other immigrant visas that were impacted as well by the Trump-era policy, are L1, H-2B, J-1, J-2, I, F and O.

”We are taking action to eliminate policies that fail to promote access to the legal immigration system and will continue to make improvements that help individuals navigate the path to citizenship, and that modernize our immigration system”, said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.

The USCIS also said that they will increase the current one-year validity period on both initial and renewal EADs to two years for certain adjustment of status applicants. This is expected to reduce the number of employment authorization requests USCIS receives and will allow them to shift limited resources to other priority areas.