Good news for Indians as Joe Biden lets Trump era H-1B visa ban die out

1 month ago 11

In a move that can turn out to be good news for Indian IT professionals, US President Joe Biden has allowed the Trump-era ban on foreign workers, in particular H-1B, to lapse without extending it further.

In June last year, amid the nationwide lockdown in the US and the global coronavirus pandemic, the then US President Donald Trump ordered a ban on entry of applicants for several temporary or "non-immigrant" visa categories. This included those holding the H-1B visa that is popular among Indians.

Back then, the Trump administration had argued that these visas presented a risk to the US labour market during the economic recovery.

Later, on December 31, President Trump extended the ban order to March 31, 2021. His administration argued that this extension was required 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 US.

As the ban order expired on March 31, the Biden administration did not issue a fresh proclamation extending the ban, news agency PTI reported.

Joe Biden had promised to lift the suspension on H-1B visas, saying Trump's immigration policies were cruel.

WHAT IS H-1B visa?

The H-1B visa is 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.

A significant number of Indians working in the US are H-1B visa holders and the pendency for application runs into lakhs.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW?

Since the Biden administration has not extended the ban on H-1B visa, American diplomatic missions overseas would be free to issue H-1B visas. As a result, US companies would be able to bring in talented technology professionals inside the country.

In a report, The Wall Street Journal said the White House will not renew the ban on H-1B and other work-based visas that was imposed by the Trump administration last year.

(With inputs from PTI)

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