Important Information You Need to Know About the H1B Visa and H1B Ban
H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa that allows employers to petition for foreign professionals. Immigration lawyer can help you if there is a ban on H1B.
What Is an H1B Visa?
The H1B visa is a temporary visa that allows U.S. companies to hire foreign workers for up to six years. It is the most common route for foreign workers to work and live in the United States.
An H1B visa ban is a significant setback for many who wish to relocate to the United States. Some people are worried about another such ban and how it could affect their lives, careers, and the country’s economy.
If you are worried about the impact of another ban, you have come to the right place. Here is everything you need to know if another H1B visa ban is imposed.
What Happens if There Is an H1B Visa Ban?
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that do not have enough qualified American workers. This status is typically valid for three years and can be extended up to six years or indefinitely if the employee has a green card.
The previous administration imposed restrictions (the “ban”) on the H1B visa program, which affected the hiring of foreign workers with specialized skills.
With these program restrictions, many skilled workers from foreign countries had difficulty getting approval to come to the United States for work. This meant that U.S. companies that relied on foreign employees or contractors also had trouble with staffing.
It also caused concern for people currently under H-1B status, as they did not know if they’d be able to extend their time in the country.
Discussing your concerns with a reputable visa lawyer may alleviate your concerns.
What Is the H1B Ban Executive Order?
In April 2017, former President Trump signed an Executive Order on Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs, which limited the number of H-1B visas granted each year.
This decision affected multiple businesses and many workers. The H1B visa has a yearly quota of 65,000 visas and an additional 20,000 to cater to those with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution.
When Was the H1B Ban Extended?
Although the H1B visa program is the most common way for employers to employ highly-skilled foreign workers, not everyone supports the program.
The Trump administration had been pushing for stricter immigration policies and specifically targeted the H-1B visa program by imposing stricter requirements and restrictions on applicants seeking employment visas through this program.
On December 20, 2018, former President Trump signed the “Protecting America’s Workers Act.” This legislation extended the suspension of expedited application processing, including the H-1B program. At that time, there was no end in sight to the ban.
What Does the H1B Travel Ban Do?
The H1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the United States to work in specialty occupations, such as occupations in technical industries.
The temporary, non-immigrant H-1B visa has been a viable option for many people to pursue jobs in fields they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. It also ensures that the right people are working in those jobs.
Who Was Affected by the H1B Travel Ban?
On June 22, 2020, former President Donald Trump signed a proclamation suspending all refugees’ entry for 120 days. This also had an impact on the H1B visa program.
The order banned Syrian refugees indefinitely and barred entry into the U.S. for 90 days for citizens of the following countries:
Fortunately, the ban does not affect those who have already obtained visas or green cards, or those who are already in the U.S. with H-1B status. Neither does it apply to dual citizens who travel on passports from other countries.
Who Was Affected by the H1B Stamping Ban?
On July 22, 2020, former President Trump signed an executive order that temporarily suspended the stamping process necessary for specific work-related immigration visas, such as the H-1B visa and the H 2B visa, among others.
There were several categories of immigrants who were affected the most by the stamping ban. These include the following:
- Business executives
- Skilled workers in technical industries
- Spouses of skilled workers who were applying for H-4 visas.
Foreigners traveling to their multinational companies’ U.S. offices with L visas and people with J-1 visas were also affected.
For more information about visa bans and how they might affect you if they recur in the future, reach out to a skilled immigration lawyer.
What Are the H1B Entry Ban Exemptions?
Fortunately, the ban on the H1B visa program is being lifted for specific categories of workers and is made exempt for others.
The Trump administration had announced that it would allow exemptions for the H1B visa program. The exemptions were for the following:
- Those who have received master’s degrees or higher from a U.S. university
- Those who have received S.T.E.M. degrees from a U.S. university
- Those who work at universities and colleges as professors or lecturers
If you have more questions regarding the H1B visa ban, it might benefit you to contact a knowledgeable immigration attorney, such as Michael G. Murray, P.A.
When Was the H1B Visa Ban Lifted?
Although the Biden administration has a different view on many immigration issues than the previous administration, it didn’t lift the H1B visa ban.
The ban expired in March 2021 and was then automatically lifted since the end date passed without the president signing another executive order for an extension.
This means that those relying on the H1B visa, including immigrants with a master’s in business, an M.B.A., or another highly-desired skill, can resume working in their specialty professions on U.S. soil.
Additionally, students from other countries who are graduating will be able to enter the annual H1B visa lottery system, which would enable them to seamlessly move into the workforce.
Do You Need H1B Assistance?
Since March 2021, the visa lottery system has been restarted. Workers can once again enter the United States for their jobs.
Many people worry about whether another ban will occur in the future. Although every area of the law is inherently complex, immigration law is even more complicated than most, given the frequent changes it faces.
If you have questions regarding which embassy department might be able to help you with your H1B visa stamp or any other immigration matter, contact the experienced Law Office of Michael G. Murray, P.A.