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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 03 April, 2021

  • 3 Min Read

President Biden Revokes Immigrant Ban

In 2020 the US President imposed a ban on H-1B visa. The current US President decided to reverse the ban & allowed a 2020 ban to expire on March 31st.

About the 2020 H1-B Visa Ban:

  • In 2020, the previous US President signed an executive order suspending the entry of H-1B and other foreign work visa holders.
  • This decision was to protect the American jobs after the Covid-19 pandemic impacts. However, the ban did not have its intended impact.

Why was it allowed to expire?

  • H-1B visa allows cheap labour in the US, they are beneficial to US companies. It is helpful in getting inexpensive but highly skilled and trained workers.
  • Hence, the US President has decided to reverse the ban to allow companies to hire new workers.

Impact on the Indian IT industry:

  • The US government has a cap of 85,000 total H-1B visas for each year.
  • Of these, 65,000 H-1B visas are issued to highly skilled foreign workers & rest 20,000 can be additionally allotted to highly skilled foreign workers having a higher education or master’s degree from a US university.
  • Indian IT companies are among the biggest beneficiaries of this regime. Since the 1990s they have the highest share in the total number of visas issued each year.
  • Hence, this decision will mean the availability of a greater workforce for the IT companies.

About H-1B visa:

  • H1-B is a non-immigrant visa. It allows US companies to employ foreign workers on the basis of theoretical or technical expertise.
  • H1-B Visas are generally approved for a period of three years for a person. But many visa holders change employers to extend their US stay.
  • Further, most IT companies in the US hire from the pool of H-1B visa-approved workers. As they are already present in the US to keep their costs in check. Such workers are often hired by the companies as subcontractors. H1B Visa
  • It is most popular among Indian IT companies. Issued for a period of 3 to 6 years.
  • Meant for persons in Specialty Occupation: to work in a specialty occupation, one requires a higher education degree or its equivalent.
  • The total number of H-1B visas issued annually: 85,000.
  • Of these, 65,000 H-1B visas are issued to highly skilled foreign workers, while the rest 20,000 can be additionally allotted to highly skilled foreign workers who have a higher education or master’s degree from an American university.
  • Indian nationals have been receiving about 70% of these work permits, the majority of them, software engineers working for technology companies.
  • H-1B visa holders who are currently not in the US can still re-enter the country. This visa ban also does not impact people waiting for visa renewals who are already in the US.

H2 B Visa

  • It permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the United States and perform temporary nonagricultural services or labor on a one-time, seasonal, peak load or intermittent basis.
  • H-2B visa holders are allowed for one year, with renewal for two years.

L Visa

  • Meant to transfer candidates who already work for a foreign branch of a US-based company, or are planning to open operations in the US of a foreign-based company.
  • Holders are granted an initial three years of stay in the U.S, which is subject to further extension up to 7 years.
  • The key difference between H1B and H1B1 visas:
  • H-1B visa permits for “dual intent” which means that a foreign national will be coming to work in a professional position temporarily while also intending to immigrate to the United States at some point in time in the future. H-1B visa holders can apply for permanent residency by applying for a green card.
  • H1B1 visa applicants, however, have to demonstrate that they do not intend to immigrate to the United States at all.

Source: TH


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