Trump Administration makes H-1 B visa banned
The ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic has disrupted the livelihoods of millions of Americans and others worldwide. During this a question arises is the H-1 B visa banned? Since the beginning of March, the White House had taken cognizance of the situation and attended press briefings every day. The pandemic directly led to the shutdown of major corporations and educational institutions across the USA. It is needless to mention that such an economic shutdown is unprecedented in the history of America.
President Trump in one of his recent press briefings extended the already imposed halt on the issuance of fresh green cards and extension/fresh issuance of H-1B visas for foreign workers till the end of 2020. The Trump administration, however, suggests that it is a way to create jobs for the millions of Americans who are unemployed right now. With the H-1 B visa banned, America will suffer a huge shortage of highly skilled labour in different job sectors.
H-1B visa banned, why?
The proclamation issued by the US presidential administration discusses in detail as to why this decision was necessary. The proclamation clarifies that the immigrant labour force is proving to be detrimental to the job sector. Additionally, having the H-1 B visa banned and by implementing the same for their spouses with H-4 visa bans, millions of Americans won’t have to compete against foreign nationals in order to get a job. Majority of the immigrant who are not US citizens and requiring jobs will sustain economic duress.
With the H-1 B visa banned, the US hopes there will be an equilibrium in the amount of labour present in the market and demand for labour in the market.
Moreover, during this Global Pandemic around 20 million US workers have lost their jobs. Major tech companies have sought for H-1 B and L workers to fill up those positions. According to research, the unemployment rates for “young Americans” have been significantly higher in the month of May. As per statistics, the unemployment rate for the 16 to 19-year-old group is almost 30 percent and for the 20 to 24-year-old groups, it is about 23.2 percent. The Trump administration, however, proposed to introduce a new way of awarding an H-1 B visa i.e., by awarding it to highest-paid workers instead of a lottery.
H-1 B Visa banned, who will suffer?
With the H-1 B visa banned, all skilled foreign workers will be denied entry into America till the end of this year. It will affect the transferred workers with an L-1 visa.
This order of extended suspension seeks to restrict J-1 short-term exchange visas which categorically include University students. Normally, J-1 visas are valid up to seven years which predominantly is determined by the program type with no annual caps. In 2019 alone, the US government sanctioned more than 350, 000 J-1 visas including renewals.
All high-skilled workers who worked in tech firms across the USA will be affected by this major decision. Additionally, all H-2 B visa holders like seasonal non-agricultural workers are likely to be denied entrance as well. There were thousands of workers who worked in the positions of executives in manufacturing or other sectors who will be affected too. Many H-1 B holders working in the hospitality industry and healthcare professionals will face the ban.
Every year, many foreign students traveled to the USA to live with an AU pair and provided child care support. This system of living with AU pairs has been around the corner for a substantial period. Unfortunately, with the H-1 B visa banned, young adults from foreign countries will be denied entrance to the USA affecting Au pairs.
With the H2 B and H-1 B visa banned all dependant visa holders are also severely affected by this decision such as H4 Visa holders. The US government issued more than 125, 000 H-4 visas last year including 1, 06, 162 Indian citizens, and 5, 701 Chinese nationals.
Simply going by numbers, around 525, 000 people suffer with the H-1 B visa banned. This number includes about an estimated 170, 000 people blocked by the extension of this visa ban.
H-1 B Visa banned, who will not suffer?
The existing visa holders will not suffer by this extension of the visa ban. Additionally, the foreign nationals who are already staying in the USA are not going to face any difficulty with their stay. However, even with the H-1 B visa banned, the Indian tech workers living in the USA will not get affected.
Most of the foreign workers associated with the agricultural sector and some areas of healthcare services are reportedly exempted. The ban also comes with exceptions for foreign workers in the food processing industry.
Healthcare professionals who are directly in the service of Covid-19 afflicted patients will also suffer no setbacks as guaranteed by the proviso of exceptions.
Therefore, the H-1 B visa banned will not affect you, if you meet any of these following categories:
- Already staying in the US as of June 24, 2020;
- Having a valid Non-Immigrant visa as on June 24, 2020;
- Either a spouse or a child of a US citizen;
- Providing temporary or essential services as mentioned hereinabove.
Q. Am I affected if I have a TN, E-3, O-1, P-1, K-1 Visa?
- No. Only those visas which are mentioned hereinabove are affected.
Q. Am I affected if I’m changing or adjusting status within the US?
Q. Am I affected if I am trying to change Jobs (H-1 B transfer) or change from OPT to H-1 B?
Q. Am I affected if I was physically in the US on June 24, 2020, but wish to leave and re-enter?
Q. Am I affected if I want to apply for an affected (e.g. H-1 B) visa, but currently hold a different Non-immigrant visa (e.g. B, F Visa) valid on June 24, 2020?
Q. Realistically, who’s affected?
- If you are stuck outside the US with an expired visa (e.g. you were planning to renew but the embassies were closed), you are affected. With H-1 B visa banned, your spouses and other dependants (e.g. H-4, J-2, L-2 visa holders) will automatically be affected. It also does not matter, if your spouse or parents are stuck in the US while you are in your own country. If you were planning to start your work in the US later this year and you do not have a valid Visa, you are affected.
Q. Can I apply to study for this year’s Bachelor or Master’s program at any US university?
- Since J-1 category visas are affected by this proclamation, you are also going to be affected. However, if you are residing in the US pursuing your studies you are not going to be affected.
Repercussions and Criticisms
W the H-1 B visa banned, the US President Trump took a historic decision. Almost all major tech corporations and the United States Chamber of Commerce have come down heavily on this decision.
The Amazon Chief, Jeff Bezos called this decision “short-sighted.” Google Head, Sundar Pichai went on to add that immigration is what made America an economic success. Similarly, the H-1 B visa banned Twitter’s vice president treads on similar lines as Pichai and said that immigration is the greatest asset of the American economy.