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H-1B holders get temporary respite from new US deportation policy

The new policy of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) enables officials to start deportation proceedings against individuals whose applications for visa extension or change in status (say, from tourist to student) have been denied and who are not in a period of authorised stay at the time of the denial.

“The policy will not be implemented with respect to employment-based petitions and humanitarian applications and petitions, at this time,” said a USCIS statement. The USCIS is taking an incremental approach to implement its updated Notice to Appear (NTA) policy, announced on June 28. Serving of an NTA is the first stage in deportation proceedings.

Late on Wednesday, the USCIS announced that the NTA policy will apply, at least initially, to applications made for the change of status to green cards while the applicant is in the US (Form I-485 applications) and also visa extension requests (Form I-539 applications), barring employment visa extensions. So, the new policy will cover international students and tourists wishing to extend their stay or change their visa status. 

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