By: Sattwik Biswal
A MOVE that will benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals, US president Joe Biden on Thursday (1) let the ban on foreign workers visa particularly H1-B lapse, as the notification issued by his predecessor Donald Trump expired yesterday (31).
Trump in June last year had issued a proclamation that suspended entry to the US of applicants for several temporary or non-immigrant visa categories, including H1-B, arguing that these visas presented a risk to the US labour market during the economic recovery.
On December 31, Trump had 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 US.
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 H1-B visas, saying Trump’s immigration policies were cruel.
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.
The expiry of the Trump’s proclamation would now result in the issuing of H1-B 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 midnight, resulting in the automatic end to the ban on issuing of fresh H1-B visas.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House will not renew the ban on H1-B and other work-based visas imposed last year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that expired yesterday (31).