President Biden has opted not to renew former President Trump’s executive order banning H-1B visas. That order was enacted in June 2020 and is set to expire today, March 31, 2021. President Biden has allowed the order to expire today to restore the pipeline for skilled foreign workers.
This Is a Win for Businesses, Especially IT Firms
Biden’s decision brings a sigh of relief to business groups from Silicon Valley giants to India’s IT services leaders. Since the ban affected H-1B visas used by technology companies to hire foreign coders and engineers, there has been pressure to lift the ban since Biden took office.
According to Bloomberg, “American tech firms, from Facebook Inc. to Google, rely on foreign talent to shore up domestic workforces. Infosys Ltd. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. traditionally dispatch Indian software engineers to work in tandem with their American clients, which include some of the largest Wall Street banks and technology corporations.”
Study International provides some insight into the numbers behind the visas: “In 2019, USCIS approved 388,403 H-1B petitions, with close to 72% of successful applicants coming from India. They consisted of 54% master’s degree holders and 66% planning to work in IT.”
This news comes on the heels of Biden’s February reversal of Trump’s executive order halting the issuance of green cards. Trump argued the freeze was in the best interest of the American economy. But President Biden took the opposite stance:
“To the contrary, it harms the US, including by preventing certain family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here. It also harms industries in the US that utilize talent from around the world.”
H-1B Visas and International Students
The expiration of the H-1B ban is also welcomed by international students. Current students, and those planning to apply to U.S. business schools, will now be able to transfer from the F-1 visa to the H-1B temporary worker visa.
Approximately 40% of H-1B visa holders transfer from the F-1 visa for international students. Even graduates in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program can apply for the H-1B visa to continue working and living in the U.S.
H-1B Registration Closed for FY 2022
The registration period for FY 2022 H-1B petition has just closed, on March 25, 2021. Learn more about the electronic H-1B registration process. According to The Economic Times, “The US has received enough electronic applications during the initial registration period to reach the 2022 fiscal year cap for the H-1B foreign workers visa.”
USCIS has also notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition. Eligible petitions may be filed starting April 1, 2021.
We encourage you to seek the guidance of the experienced Dublin immigration attorneys at Sam Shihab & Associates to address any questions you may have about your specific immigration case. We’d also be happy to clarify any of the information contained here about H-1B visas.
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