Many IT Consulting cos. allow workers to telecommute and work form home instead of going into the office or a client facility each day. Unfortunately for H-1b workers, this practice poses a significant risk. Recently, several US Consulates in India have denied H-1b visas for H-1b workers who indicated that they were being permitted to perform part of their work remotely from home. It was reported that one Consular official commented, "if you can work from home, you may as well stay here in India and work" Although there is no legal basis or authority for a visa refusal on these grounds, the concept of legal basis or authority is often unrecognized at US Consulates particularly in India and Manila.
Last week,TechServe Alliance representatives met with USCIS Director Mayorkas and discussed the use of the H-1b program by IT staffing and consulting firms and specifically, the negative impact of the Neufeld policy memo. It is hoped that by listening to US stakeholders that the USCIS will implement H-1b policies that are more consistent with job growth and the promotion of entrepreneurship.