A leading US Senator has alleged that prospective H-1B visa applicants are being routed to US O-visas in place of the H-1B visas that are capped numerically. This is being done to surpass legal impediments on work visas such as H-1B visas, said Chuck Grassley the US Senator.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley quoted reports in the media that the number of visas issued in the O-Visas category has increased 3 times in last ten years.
H-1B visas are offered to highly skilled overseas workers. O-visas are offered to overseas immigrants with extraordinary abilities. It is given to immigrants who have proven record of amazing achievements.
O-Visas have no numerical capping unlike the majority of the US visas that have a numerical cap, as quoted by the New Indian Express.
In a letter addressed to John Kelly the US Homeland Security Secretary, Grassley said that the increase in numbers along with the media reports are worrisome and affect the integrity of both the visas.
O-Visas that are actually offered to overseas immigrants with exceptional talents cannot be an alternative to H-1B visas said, Grassley. Attempts to override the exceptional requirements of O-visas for potential H1-B visas are illegal. It will damage the integrity of both the visa programs, added the US Senator.
Elaborating further in the letter, Grassley said that a section of the media has suggested in the news articles that overseas immigrants must opt for O-visas in place of H-1B visas. This is owing to the fact that they are by and large free of restrictions as well as the numerical cap, explained the US Senator.
Grassley said that O-Visas are given to overseas immigrant workers who possess exceptional talents in Athletics, Business, Education, Arts, and Sciences. It is also offered to those who have proven record of amazing achievements in TV production or motion picture.
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