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Biden admin 'undecided' on ending Trump-era H-1B visa ban

h1b visa ban

The Biden administration on Monday indicated it is still undecided on ending the Trump-era ban on issuing new H-1B visas, with the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asserting that its top priority is the acute needs of individuals fleeing persecution. In January, then-President Donald Trump had extended the ban on issuing new H-1B visas till March 31 arguing that the country is having a very high unemployment rate and the US cannot afford to have more foreign workers.

"His successor President Joe Biden has revoked dozens of the executive orders of Trump including several of those related to immigration like the lifting the Muslim visa ban or those related to Green Card, the one that imposed a ban on issuing H-1B has still not been lifted. It will expire on March 31, if Biden does not issue a fresh proclamation."

"What is the status of the review of the Trump-era visa bans for H1B visas and has the White House decided to lift those bans before they expire at the end of the month?" Mayorkas was asked at a White House news conference.

"I don't really (know)--I hate to end the questioning on a question. The answer to which I am not certain. But this goes to what proceeded us. We have so much work to do to repair and to restore and to rebuild that we have a prioritization matrix and of course, the acute needs of individuals fleeing persecution is a high priority. Which brings me to this meeting this morning," Mayorkas said in response.

At the same time, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has gone ahead with its H-1B application allocation process for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021. 

Last month it announced that it has received enough applications to allocate 65,000 H-1B visas and another 20,000 H-1B visas to those who have completed their higher education from US universities.

Biden has revoked a policy issued by his predecessor during the COVID-19 pandemic that blocked many Green Card applicants from entering the US, a move that will benefit many Indians working in America on the H-1B visa.

Trump, a Republican, issued the ban last year, saying it was needed to protect US workers amid high unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.

Indian IT professionals, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the US mainly on the H-1B work visas, are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Card or permanent legal residency.

The H-1B visa, the most sought after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The US is currently facing a backlog of nearly 473,000 qualified family-based Green Card requests.

As a result of Trump's ban on issuing green cards, as many as 120,000 family-based preference visas were lost. But this came as a big boon for issuing employment-based green cards, mainly those on H-1B visas.

Thousands of Indian IT professionals who painstakingly waited for their Green Card received their legal permanent residency as a result in the last few months of the Trump administration. 

(With PTI inputs)

Also Read | US reaches Congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for 2021

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Sours: https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/world/joe-biden-undecided-ending-trump-era-h1b-visa-ban-688203

Biden lets Trump era H-1B visa bans expire; Indian IT professionals to benefit

US President Joe Biden on Thursday let the ban on foreign workers visa, in particular H-1B, lapse as the notification issued by his predecessor Donald Trumpexpired, a move which is likely to benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals.

Amidst a national lockdown and the COVID-19 crisis, Trump in June last year issued a proclamation that suspended entry to the US of applicants for several temporary or "non-immigrant" visa categories, including H-1B, arguing that these visas presented a risk to the US labour market during the economic recovery.

On December 31, Trump extended the order to March 31, 2021, noting that an extension was warranted as the pandemic continued to disrupt American's lives, and high levels of unemployment and job loss were still presenting serious economic challenges to workers across the United States.

Biden did not issue a fresh proclamation for the ban on H-1B visas to continue after March 31.

He had promised to lift the suspension on H-1B visas, saying Trump's immigrationpolicies were cruel.

The H-1B visais a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The expiry of the Trump's proclamation would now result in the issuing of H-1B visas by American diplomatic missions overseas that would result in US companies bringing in talented technology professionals inside the country.

No new proclamation was issued by Biden till Wednesday mid-night, resulting in the automatic end to the ban on issuing of fresh H-1B visas.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House will not renew a ban on H-1B and other work-based visas imposed last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is set to expire on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a Republican Senator from Missouri on Wednesday urged Biden to issue a fresh proclamation to continue with the H-1B visa ban.

"I write today to urge you to extend the freeze on temporary foreign worker entries into the United States that, without intervention, will expire today," Senator Josh Hawley wrote in a letter to Biden.

"The presidential proclamation suspending entry of certain temporary workers into the US has protected Americans suffering from the pandemic-induced economic crisis. With millions of struggling Americans out of work - and millions more desperate to make ends meet - now is not the time to open the floodgates to thousands of foreign workers competing with American workers for scarce jobs and resources," he wrote.

In his letter, Hawley wrote that the unemployment rate remains at 6.2 per cent - with nearly 10 million Americans out of work and looking for a job. The pandemic has been especially devastating for low-income and working class Americans, many of whom have borne the brunt of the crisis - and stand to lose the most from misguided policy decisions, he said.

In periods of high unemployment, it makes no sense to allow a struggling labour market to be flooded with a wave of foreign competition, he said.

"What makes even less sense is to willingly introduce further competition for the US workers at the same time that a disastrous illegal immigration crisis grows on our southern border. As at the border, failure to take meaningful action is, in itself, a policy decision with detrimental impacts for American workers.

"I urge you to extend the temporary foreign worker entry suspension until the national unemployment rate has meaningfully declined, and until your administration has conducted a thorough review of non-immigrant visa programmes to ensure that American workers are fully and effectively protected from harm," Hawley added.

ETPrime stories of the day

Sours: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/work/biden-lets-trump-era-h-1b-visa-bans-expire-indian-it-professionals-to-benefit/articleshow/81813752.cms
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Biden lets Trump era H-1B visa bans expire; Indian IT professionals to benefit

US President Joe Biden on Thursday let the ban on foreign workers visa, in particular H-1B, lapse as the notification issued by his predecessor Donald Trumpexpired, a move which is likely to benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals.

Amidst a national lockdown and the COVID-19 crisis, Trump in June last year issued a proclamation that suspended entry to the US of applicants for several temporary or "non-immigrant" visa categories, including H-1B, arguing that these visas presented a risk to the US labour market during the economic recovery.

On December 31, Trump extended the order to March 31, 2021, noting that an extension was warranted as the pandemic continued to disrupt American's lives, and high levels of unemployment and job loss were still presenting serious economic challenges to workers across the United States.

Biden did not issue a fresh proclamation for the ban on H-1B visas to continue after March 31.

He had promised to lift the suspension on H-1B visas, saying Trump's immigrationpolicies were cruel.

The H-1B visais a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The expiry of the Trump's proclamation would now result in the issuing of H-1B visas by American diplomatic missions overseas that would result in US companies bringing in talented technology professionals inside the country.

No new proclamation was issued by Biden till Wednesday mid-night, resulting in the automatic end to the ban on issuing of fresh H-1B visas.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House will not renew a ban on H-1B and other work-based visas imposed last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is set to expire on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a Republican Senator from Missouri on Wednesday urged Biden to issue a fresh proclamation to continue with the H-1B visa ban.

"I write today to urge you to extend the freeze on temporary foreign worker entries into the United States that, without intervention, will expire today," Senator Josh Hawley wrote in a letter to Biden.

"The presidential proclamation suspending entry of certain temporary workers into the US has protected Americans suffering from the pandemic-induced economic crisis. With millions of struggling Americans out of work - and millions more desperate to make ends meet - now is not the time to open the floodgates to thousands of foreign workers competing with American workers for scarce jobs and resources," he wrote.

In his letter, Hawley wrote that the unemployment rate remains at 6.2 per cent - with nearly 10 million Americans out of work and looking for a job. The pandemic has been especially devastating for low-income and working class Americans, many of whom have borne the brunt of the crisis - and stand to lose the most from misguided policy decisions, he said.

In periods of high unemployment, it makes no sense to allow a struggling labour market to be flooded with a wave of foreign competition, he said.

"What makes even less sense is to willingly introduce further competition for the US workers at the same time that a disastrous illegal immigration crisis grows on our southern border. As at the border, failure to take meaningful action is, in itself, a policy decision with detrimental impacts for American workers.

"I urge you to extend the temporary foreign worker entry suspension until the national unemployment rate has meaningfully declined, and until your administration has conducted a thorough review of non-immigrant visa programmes to ensure that American workers are fully and effectively protected from harm," Hawley added.

ETPrime stories of the day

Sours: https://m.economictimes.com/nri/work/biden-lets-trump-era-h-1b-visa-bans-expire-indian-it-professionals-to-benefit/articleshow/81813752.cms

Trump Suspends Visas Allowing Hundreds of Thousands of Foreigners to Work in the U.S.

The move is fiercely opposed by business leaders, who say it will block their ability to recruit critically needed workers from countries overseas.

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday temporarily suspended new work visas and barred hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the United States, part of a broad effort to limit the entry of immigrants into the country.

In a sweeping order, which will be in place at least until the end of the year, Mr. Trump blocked visas for a wide variety of jobs, including those for computer programmers and other skilled workers who enter the country under the H-1B visa, as well as those for seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, students on work-study summer programs and au pairs who arrive under other auspices.

The order also restricts the ability of American companies with global operations and international companies with U.S. branches to transfer foreign executives and other employees to the United States for months or yearslong stints. And it blocks the spouses of foreigners who are employed at companies in the United States.

Officials said the ban on worker visas, combined with extending restrictions on the issuance of new green cards, would keep as many as 525,000 foreign workers out of the country for the rest of the year.

Stephen Miller, the White House aide and the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy, has pushed for years to limit or eliminate the worker visas, arguing that they harm employment prospects for Americans. And in recent months, Mr. Miller has argued that the economic distress caused by the virus has made it even more important to turn off the spigot.

But the directive, which has been expected for several weeks, is fiercely opposed by business leaders, who say it will block their ability to recruit critically needed workers from countries overseas for jobs that Americans are not willing to do or are not capable of performing.

“This is a full-frontal attack on American innovation and our nation’s ability to benefit from attracting talent from around the world,” said Todd Schulte, the president of FWD.us, a pro-immigration group supported by technology companies.

“Putting up a ‘not welcome’ sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other workers won’t help our country, it will hold us back,” said Thomas J. Donohue, the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Restrictive changes to our nation’s immigration system will push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth and reduce job creation.”

Administration officials said the president’s order would not affect people outside the United States who already have valid visas or seasonal farm workers, whose annual numbers have ranged from a low of about 50,000 to a high of about 250,000 in the past 15 years. There will also be a narrow exception for certain medical workers dealing specifically with coronavirus research, officials said.

The order will ban au pairs who come to the United States to care for children, though officials initially told reporters they would be exempt. Later, two senior administration officials said parents could seek waivers to the ban on a case-by-case basis, with no assurance that they would be approved.

In the order, Mr. Trump described suspension of the visas as a way to ensure that Americans are first in line for scarce jobs — an assertion that immigration advocates say does not reflect the reality of a dynamic and changing work force.

“Under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers,” Mr. Trump wrote in the order.

The effort to restrict entry from foreigners into the United States was at the heart of one of the president’s key promises during the 2016 campaign and is certain to play a central role as Mr. Trump seeks to energize his core supporters during his re-election campaign this year.

While the president’s pledge to build a “big, beautiful wall” to prevent illegal border crossings has attracted more attention, his efforts to slow down the flow of legal immigration have been even more effective and potentially long-lasting.

In April, the president signed an executive order that suspended for 60 days the issuance of green cards to most foreigners looking to live in the United States. But at the time, Mr. Miller and the president bowed to pressure from the business community to avoid imposing limits on the worker visas.

Monday’s order extends the green-card prohibition in addition to suspending the issuance of many of the worker visas.

Immigration restrictionists who have had the ear of the Trump administration applauded the announcement. Combined with recent measures, “the work visa suspensions will put the thumb on the labor market scale in favor of U.S. workers,” said Jessica Vaughan, the policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates curbing immigration.

“It’s really heartening to see the president stand up to the special interests that pull out the stops to lobby for these visa programs,” said Ms. Vaughan, who said she had been regularly consulted by White House aides on the issue.

In addition to the temporary suspensions, administration officials said Mr. Trump was directing the government to make permanent changes to a broad array of immigration regulations in order to discourage what they said was unfair competition for American jobs from foreigners looking to come to the United States.

Among those changes will be new methods of ensuring that high-skill visas in the future are awarded to the highest-paid workers and of preventing companies from contracting large numbers of midlevel foreign workers to perform accounting, programming and other technology-assisted jobs that Americans might be able to do.

Other changes would be aimed at discouraging immigrants from applying for asylum as a way of obtaining a work permit in the United States. It was unclear when those regulatory changes would go into effect.

The administration could try to issue emergency rules to expedite such changes rather than go through the normal process, which can take months or even years because the public must be allowed to comment before a final rule is enacted.

But fast-tracking the rule-making process on foreign workers could invite legal challenges from opponents who say the administration did not follow the rules. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Trump violated the Administrative Procedure Act when he tried to terminate an Obama-era program aimed at protecting young immigrants from deportation.

“The government could try and fast-track that process by not allowing the public to weigh in on the changes before they go into effect, but it is difficult to see that process surviving court review,” said Lynden Melmed, an immigration lawyer and the former chief counsel of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Amid the pandemic, the Trump administration has seized on the threat to public health as a pretext to issue a series of policy changes affecting almost every aspect of the immigration system, including asylum and green cards. While many changes have been announced as temporary, they could remain in place indefinitely.

But critics say the administration has used the health crisis and the economic meltdown it has caused as pretext to put in place restrictions that further its immigration agenda.

While Mr. Trump and his aides said the suspension of visas was in response to the pandemic, the administration has been pursuing the same broad reductions to legal immigration policies for years, including during times when unemployment was at its lowest in decades. In 2017, the president endorsed the RAISE Act, a Republican Senate bill that would have cut legal immigration, including business visas, by about 50 percent.

In the weeks leading up to the announcement on Monday, a diverse coalition of businesses and research universities had lobbied fiercely, flooding the White House with letters and phone calls, in an attempt to limit the scope of the executive order.

“It’s the largest crackdown on work visas that I have seen in my 35 years of practice,” said Steve Yale-Loehr, a Cornell law professor. “Thousands of businesses and universities will be hurt by these restrictions. Similarly, individuals will be stuck overseas unable to help the U.S. economy recover.”

But the opponents failed to block the measures, which they had argued were counterproductive to economic recovery.

“The Trump administration has argued that it wants to create a merit-based immigration system that prioritizes educated immigrants with skills,” said Alex Nowrasteh, the director of immigration studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. “With this suspension of the H-1B visa program, they have shown, once again, that they really mean they want fewer immigrants.”

“These immigration bans are more red meat and not jobs for the base,” said Rebecca Shi from the American Business Immigration Coalition in Chicago. “They don’t even serve Trump’s own business interests.”

Mr. Trump has used H-2B visas to hire seasonal staff for his resorts to work as cooks and waiters.

Michael D. Shear reported from Washington, and Miriam Jordan from Los Angeles.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/22/us/politics/trump-h1b-work-visas.html

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'Donald Trump H1b' - 71 News Result(s)

  • Biden Urged To Revoke Trump-Era Ban On H-1B And Other Foreign Work Visas

    Biden Urged To Revoke Trump-Era Ban On H-1B And Other Foreign Work Visas

    World News | Press Trust of India | Friday March 19, 2021

    Five powerful Democratic senators on Thursday urged President Joe Biden to rescind his predecessor Donald Trump's ban on some non-immigrant visas, including the H-1B visa which is popular among Indian IT professionals, saying this creates uncertainties for US employers, their foreign-born professional workers and their families.

  • US Proposal On H-1B For Speciality Jobs May Affect Hundreds Of Indians
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  • Experts Say US Curbs On Hiring Foreign Workers Blessing For India Inc

    Experts Say US Curbs On Hiring Foreign Workers Blessing For India Inc

    India News | Written by Maya Sharma | Tuesday August 4, 2020

    The Trump administration's decision to prevent federal agencies from hiring foreign workers - mainly those on H1B visas - will hurt the US economy more than Indians eyeing the American job market, industry heads said, adding that the policy changes introduced in the run up to the US Presidential elections this year could work as the push the Indian...

  • Trump Signs New Order On H-1B Visa Hiring, Blow To Indian Professionals
  • Trump Administration Took Steps To Prevent Abuse In Visa Programs: Officials
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  • "Most H-1B Workers From India...": Visa Holders' Petition Fearing Layoffs

    "Most H-1B Workers From India...": Visa Holders' Petition Fearing Layoffs

    World News | Press Trust of India | Tuesday March 31, 2020

    Fearing massive layoffs in America due to the coronavirus crisis that is hitting businesses around the globe, foreign technology professionals holdingH-1B visas, the most sought after among Indians, have demanded the Trump administration extend their permissible post-job loss limit to stay in the US from the existing 60 to 180 days.

  • Ahead Of Donald Trump's Visit, Congress Raises Pitch On Trade Deal, H-1B Visa
  • US' Final Call On H-1B Visas Could Affect Tens Of Thousands Of Indians
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'Donald Trump H1b' - 12 Video Result(s)

'Donald Trump H1b' - 71 News Result(s)

  • Biden Urged To Revoke Trump-Era Ban On H-1B And Other Foreign Work Visas

    Biden Urged To Revoke Trump-Era Ban On H-1B And Other Foreign Work Visas

    World News | Press Trust of India | Friday March 19, 2021

    Five powerful Democratic senators on Thursday urged President Joe Biden to rescind his predecessor Donald Trump's ban on some non-immigrant visas, including the H-1B visa which is popular among Indian IT professionals, saying this creates uncertainties for US employers, their foreign-born professional workers and their families.

  • US Proposal On H-1B For Speciality Jobs May Affect Hundreds Of Indians
  • US Unveils New H-1B Visa Rules, To Make Sure American Workers "Put First"
  • US Judge Blocks H-1B Visa Ban, Says President Donald Trump "Exceeded His Authority"
  • Experts Say US Curbs On Hiring Foreign Workers Blessing For India Inc

    Experts Say US Curbs On Hiring Foreign Workers Blessing For India Inc

    India News | Written by Maya Sharma | Tuesday August 4, 2020

    The Trump administration's decision to prevent federal agencies from hiring foreign workers - mainly those on H1B visas - will hurt the US economy more than Indians eyeing the American job market, industry heads said, adding that the policy changes introduced in the run up to the US Presidential elections this year could work as the push the Indian...

  • Trump Signs New Order On H-1B Visa Hiring, Blow To Indian Professionals
  • Trump Administration Took Steps To Prevent Abuse In Visa Programs: Officials
  • "Moving To Merit-Based System": US As Trump Temporarily Suspends H-1B Visa
  • Trump Considering Suspending H-1B Visas Amid Massive Unemployment: Report
  • Donald Trump Urged To Suspend H-1B Visa Program After Job Loss Amid COVID-19 Layoffs
  • "Most H-1B Workers From India...": Visa Holders' Petition Fearing Layoffs

    "Most H-1B Workers From India...": Visa Holders' Petition Fearing Layoffs

    World News | Press Trust of India | Tuesday March 31, 2020

    Fearing massive layoffs in America due to the coronavirus crisis that is hitting businesses around the globe, foreign technology professionals holdingH-1B visas, the most sought after among Indians, have demanded the Trump administration extend their permissible post-job loss limit to stay in the US from the existing 60 to 180 days.

  • Ahead Of Donald Trump's Visit, Congress Raises Pitch On Trade Deal, H-1B Visa
  • US' Final Call On H-1B Visas Could Affect Tens Of Thousands Of Indians
  • Washington To Give Preference To US-Educated Workers For H1-B Visas
  • Will Take Feedback On Ending Work Permits For H-1B Holders' Spouses: US

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Donald Trump Considering Suspending H1B, Other Visas - Report

US court abolishes proposed Trump era H-1B wage rule

A US federal court has turned down a proposed Trump-era rule that called for changing the H-1Bvisa selection process from random lottery to one that would prioritise higher-wage jobs. The ruling would benefit Indian STEM students looking to take up jobs in the US.

Business groups had complained that this would make it harder for them to hire graduate students as they would not qualify under the new rules. Universities had also said that it would be tougher for them to attract foreign students if this rule was implemented.

The US Chamber of Commerce had filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump-era directive in 2020, resulting in a district court temporarily ordering a stay on the rule. The plaintiffs argued that the rules violated the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that noncitizens should be issued H-1B visas “in the order in which petitions are filed for such visas.”

Untitled-9Agencies

Further, this would make it harder for US universities to attract foreign students if they would not be able to get jobs through the H-1B visa program upon graduation, said the plaintiffs.

On Wednesday, Judge Jeffery White of the Northern California District Court said that the rule was invalid on the grounds that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). It contends that Chad Wolf, acting DHS secretary at the time the rules were issued, had been illegally appointed to the position.

Earlier, challenges to this rule and other proposed visa amendments had been upheld in the district court on the same grounds. Because the government presented no new facts or legal arguments on that issue, Judge White reached the same conclusion as the district court judge, on abolishing the rule.

It was a correct decision not just based on substance because then-Secretary Chad Wolf's appointment was unlawful. This now reverts the rule back to the random H-1B lottery," said Nandini Nair, partner at Greenspoon Marder.

The rule had been introduced by the previous Donald Trumpadministration with a view to protect American jobs by prioritising visas for high paying jobs. However, industry bodies and universities argued that this would impact their ability to hire doctors and other university graduates on H-1B visas.

Every year, the US issues 65,000 new H-1B visas with another 20,000 reserved for applicants with a US Masters. The number of applications is usually higher than this, leading to selection by random lottery. A study by the National Foundation for American Policy said that the change would also make it more difficult for physicists, microbiologists and medical scientists (among others) to gain H-1B petitions, since their wages are closer to the bottom two levels of the prescribed H-1B wage levels.

Schools, too, would be unable to hire teachers on H-1B petitions in middle school or high school, since around 90% are paid at Level 1 or Level 2.

( Originally published on Sep 17, 2021 )

ETPrime stories of the day

Sours: https://m.economictimes.com/nri/work/us-court-abolishes-proposed-trump-era-h-1b-wage-rule/articleshow/86288257.cms

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Explained: Trump’s H-1B visa ban has expired; what does it mean for India’s IT sector?

The executive order, signed by his predecessor Donald Trump, had barred the entry of eligible work visa holders, first for 60 days till August, which was extended till December and then March 31.

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What was the proclamation issued by former US President Donald Trump?

In June last year, Trump had signed an executive order barring the entry of H-1B and other foreign work visa holders citing it as an essential step to save the jobs of Americans who had lost their work due to the Covid-19 crisis.

In his proclamation, Trump had said that these US workers had been “hurt through no fault of their own due to coronavirus and they should not remain on the sidelines while being replaced by new foreign labour”.

“With some exceptions, we should not permit large numbers of foreign workers to enter the United States at a time when so many Americans are out of work,” an official statement by the White House had then said.

Among all the categories of temporary non-immigrant visas given to foreign workers, the H-1B remain the most famous, following by the L1 and the H-2B visa. Of these, the H-1B visas, which is issued to highly skilled workers in the information technology sector is cornered mostly by Indian workers employed either with companies or as independent contractors.

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Why did President Biden let the executive order by Trump expire?

Though the H-1B and other work visas have often been criticised for allowing cheap labour in the US at the expense of its local workforce, they have also proven beneficial to the US when it comes to getting inexpensive but highly skilled and trained workers.

Global IT companies, industry bodies, and other global tech captains such as Alphabet and Google Inc’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sundar Pichai, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, had then condemned the June 2020 move and said that the H-1B visa regimes had a net positive impact on the US economy.

“Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all,” Pichai had then said on micro-blogging website Twitter.

Ever since Biden took charge, the industry captains had been asking the new administration to reverse the ban to allow them to hire new workers.

How does the expiry of the June 2020 order help Indian IT industry?

The US government has a cap of 85,000 total H-1B visas for each year. Of this, 65,000 H-1B visas are issued to highly skilled foreign workers, while the rest 20,000 can be additionally allotted to highly skilled foreign workers who have a higher education or masters degree from an American university.

Indian IT companies are among the biggest beneficiaries of the US H-1B visa regime, and have since 1990s cornered a lion’s share of the total number of visas issued each year. Though over the years most Indian companies have reduced their dependence on work visa such as H-1B and L-1, they remain very popular among Indian workers overall.

H-1B visas are generally approved for a period of three years for a person, but many visa holders change employers to extend their US stay. IT companies, both Indian and global, hire from this pool of H-1B visa approved workers to already present in the US to keep their costs in check. Such workers are often hired by the companies as sub-contractors.

With the order having expired on Thursday, all the H-1B visa holders who had been impacted by the travel ban will now be free to go to back to the US and resume their work as an independent contractor as well. This in turn will mean the availability of a greater workforce for the IT companies.

The expiry of the order would also mean that all US diplomatic missions, present in various countries, would now be able to issue fresh worker visas, thereby allowing even the US based IT companies to start hiring foreign talented workers again.

Sours: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-trumps-h-1b-visa-ban-has-expired-what-it-means-for-indias-it-sector-7254229/


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