Will the H1-B and other non-immigrant visas get suspended? Here’s what immigration expert says

June 12, 2020 5:14 PM

After the meeting of the Department of Labour and Homeland security earlier this month, it is believed that certain decisions will come into play in June which might lead to the prevention of entry of certain non-immigrants into the US.

It is very possible that the food supply workers as well as healthcare professionals and those entering for the purpose of research related to COVID might still be allowed to enter. It is very possible that the food supply workers as well as healthcare professionals and those entering for the purpose of research related to COVID might still be allowed to enter.

By Nandika Handa

Since the suspension that came into play on the 22nd of April after President Donald Trump’s proclamation- there has been a lot of speculation about the possibility of this eventually happening.

Immigration strategies have long been on the agenda of the presiding U.S government. The pandemic and resulting unemployment rates have further led to the constant examination of the US immigration policies as a measure to ease the soaring unemployment rates. The Trump Government has tried to ensure that the limited numbers of jobs presently available are accessed by US nationals first.

After the meeting of the Department of Labour and Homeland security earlier this month, it is believed that certain decisions will come into play in June which might lead to the prevention of entry of certain non-immigrants into the US.

It was initially believed that only the H-1B category would be banned utilizing the new presidential proclamations. However, it is now thought that there are other categories such as H-2B, L-1 and also the J-1 visa which will be suspended.

This suspension might come into force as early as the middle of June 2020.

Most immigration lawyers anticipate that the proclamation could last anywhere from 90- 180 days.

It is thought that after October the 1st, a 120-day ban will also be enforced. Unfortunately, firms that have in fact passed the lottery and have employees starting after October the 1st will be unable to join if this happens.

It is very possible that the food supply workers as well as healthcare professionals and those entering for the purpose of research related to COVID might still be allowed to enter. There will probably be a rider, however, that the employer should have already tried to place a US national for the job in question.

There were reports circulating that the filing fee for H-1B would be raised by anywhere between 75,000 USD to 100,000 USD! Now, it is believed that the fee might be raised by an additional 20,000 to the current figure.

This would actually impact the ability of many to file. It is unlikely that with the current economic scenario an additional 20,000 U.S.D would easily be spent by any sponsor or employer. This factor also might lead to an impediment in those trying to move to the US under the H-1B visa.

An additional obstacle is that the salary bracket of those seeking the H1-B might be increased from the present levels, required to qualify. This would further narrow down the scope in order to meet the requirements for this visa.

Presently, the spouses of H-1B visa holders who are in the process of getting green cards and have received approval on their I-40 are allowed to seek employment. It is thought that this rule too, might be withdrawn. This also will deliver a further blow to those families struggling to establish themselves in the U.S.

The OPT (Optional Practical Training) is an integral part of the international students’ road to progression in the US.

It allows the students to get one to three years of employment depending on their field of study. This is how many of them actually establish themselves professionally and financially in the beginning and move on to the green card process. There might be restrictions placed on this too which would allow only those students within the top cadre in terms of scores to pursue this option.

With the current economic climate in U.S A coupled with unemployment rates at record highs these immigration moves might come into play very soon.

The fact that the presiding government’s stance so far to immigration has been a very strong one also does not help the plight of those seeking assurance in any way.

This leaves many with an American Dream asking- will it be possible for us to attain, or, will it remain just that for the moment- “A Dream”.

(The author is an Independent Immigration Consultant. Views expressed are personal.)

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1UK extends work visas for Indian, foreign doctors and nurses in COVID-19 fight
2IATO urges govt to announce dates for restoration of e-visa, tourist visas
3Lawsuit now covers H-1B petitions for market research analyst positions filed by US businesses