iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Before he leaves office, the outgoing US President Donald Trump is trying to do everything he can to make sure the H1-B visa is inaccessible to those who are seeking it.
In the name of protecting American workers, has been trying hard to normalize his ill-conceived H1-B visa rules. In that effect, he has extended the ban of H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas by three months.
Trump said that even though therapeutics and COVID-19 vaccines are recently available, their effect on the labor market and community health has not yet been fully realized.
The US government issued H-1B visas by the fiscal year 2021 beginning October 1 to many Indian IT professionals and several American and Indian companies. This particular decision will impact these the most.
The freeze on various categories of work visas was ordered by Trump through two proclamations on April 22 and June 22 last year.
On Thursday, December 31, just a few hours before the freeze was originally set to expire, Trump issued yet another proclamation that extended the freeze till March 31. President said that the reasons for which he had issued such a restriction have not changed.
The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H) that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, that require theoretical or technical expertise.
The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
This extension means that now they would have to wait at least till the end of March before approaching the US diplomatic missions to get stamping.
There are many Indian IT professionals who are seeking renewal of their H-1B visas. They will be hugely impacted too by the same.
Biden, a Democrat, has promised to lift the suspension on H-1B visas, saying Trump’s immigration policies are cruel.
US media commented that Trump’s decision was yet another example of how his administration is trying to box Biden in on challenging policy matters.
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. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
They would now have to wait at least till the end of March before approaching the US diplomatic missions to get stamping. It would also impact a large number of Indian IT professionals who are seeking renewal of their H-1B visas.
Trump said in his proclamation that “The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to significantly disrupt Americans” livelihoods. While the November overall unemployment rate in the United States of 6.7 percent reflects a marked decline from its April high, there were still 9,834,000 fewer seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in November than in February of 2020”.
The current number of new daily cases worldwide reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), for example, is higher than the comparable number present during June, and while therapeutics and vaccines are recently available for an increasing number of Americans, their effect on the labor market and community health has not yet been fully realized, he said.
‘Moreover, actions such as States’ continued imposition of restrictions on businesses still affect the number of workers that can be hired as compared with February of 2020,” Trump said, adding that his latest proclamation may be extended if necessary.