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The US Allows H-1B Visa Holders To Return For Same Jobs They Did Before Ban

Previous ‘Actions’ On H-1B

Joe Biden to remove ban on visas when elected as President

Trump’s order was issued apparently to protect American jobs during the ongoing pandemic but it has been criticized by the tech industry as well as politicians on both sides of the aisle as damaging to the U.S. economy.

Democratic presidential candidate and former US vice president Joe Biden has said that he will lift the temporary suspension on H-1B visas, the most sought-after by Indian IT professionals, if he wins the November presidential elections.

On June 23, in a huge blow to Indian IT professionals eyeing the US job market, the Trump administration suspended the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.

Trump administration takes a reverse card on foreign students visa policy

The Trump administration agreed to rescind its July 6 rule, which temporarily bared international students from staying in the United States unless they attend at least one in-person course, a federal district court judge said.

The U-turn by the Trump administration came following a nationwide outrage against its July 6 order and a series of lawsuits filed by a large number of educational institutions, led by the prestigious Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), seeking a permanent injunctive relief to bar the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from enforcing the federal guidelines barring international students attending colleges and universities offering only online courses from staying in the country.

Ray of light For Fallen Hopes

The Trump administration has relaxed some rules for H-1B visas allowing visa holders to enter the US if they return to the same jobs they had before the visa ban.

The US Department of State advisory said dependents, or spouses and children, would also be allowed to travel with the visa holders.

“Travel by applicants seeking to resume ongoing employment in the United States in the same position with the same employer and visa classification,” the state department advisory said.

The US has also allowed travel by technical specialists, senior-level managers and other workers who hold H-1B visas, saying it is necessary to facilitate the “immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States”.

President Donald Trump had signed a proclamation on June 22 banning the entry of certain non-immigrants with H-1B and L1 visas until the end of the year to protect the US labour market following record unemployment rates because of the Covid19 pandemic.

The US tech industry, including Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, had backed a lawsuit against the move.

America has also allowed the travel of visa holders working as public health or healthcare professionals, or researchers as the country battles the raging pandemic.

“Travel supported by a request from a US government agency or entity to meet critical US foreign policy objectives or to satisfy treaty or contractual obligations. This would include individuals, identified by the Department of Defense or another US government agency, performing research, providing IT support/services, or engaging other similar projects essential to a US government agency,” the advisory stated.

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