On Wednesday, the US State Department authorized certain exemptions from President Donald Trump's June 22 announcement in which he indicated that the entry of foreign and non-immigrant workers with visas would be prohibited until the end of 2020. The new flexibilities allow H-1B and L-1 visa holders to return to the United States to continue working with the same employer.
What does the new travel advisory say?
In its latest travel advisory, the State Department said it had decided to allow certain categories of workers and nonimmigrant visa holders in the “national interest”. For those categories of workers who are not covered by the Presidential Proclamation of June 22, neither they nor their spouses or children will be prevented from obtaining a visa to travel to the United States.
- Under the new notice, H-1B visa holders who are public or private health professionals or who are engaged in medical research “in an area of substantial public health interest” will be allowed to travel.
- Additionally, H-1B visa holders whose services have been requested by a US government agency, such as those working in information technology and support services, will be able to return to the United States.
- Non-government IT organizations will be able to travel to the United States if they return to resume employment with the same organization they were in before the June 22 proclamation.
- Travel will also be permitted for technical specialists, senior managers and other workers whose “travel is necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.”
Why has the United States changed its stance on nonimmigrant visas?
In his June 22 proclamation, U.S. President Trump said he was barring entry for non-immigrant visa workers because companies were using the program to cut jobs available to them. American workers, as foreign workers, were willing to work for less than the average price. wages paid to the American worker.
- However, global IT companies, industry bodies, and other global technology captains such as Alphabet and Google Inc CEO Sundar Pichai, Tesla CEO Elon Musk have condemned the move, claiming that the H visa regimes -1B had a net positive impact on the US economy.
- “Immigration has contributed immensely to the economic success of the United States, making it a global leader in technology and also of Google, the company it is today.
- Disappointed by today's proclamation, we will continue to support immigrants and work to expand opportunities for all, ”Pichai said at the time on the microblogging site Twitter.
- In its new opinion, the US State Department said some of the IT workers and other H-1B and L-1 visa holders could return because “forcing employers to replace employees in this situation can lead to hardship. financial ” for them.
Help Indian H-1B workers?
With the exception of new H-1B visa holders who reportedly got their visas approved this year after April and traveled to the U.S. At one point in September, IT workers with old H-1B visas issued earlier may have the option to return to NOS.
- This means that companies that need skilled Indian IT workers will be able to hire H-1B workers from the talent pool of visa holders already residing in the United States or those who have returned to India and are ready to return.
- In 2018-2019 alone, for example, tech giants Google, facebook and Apple hired more than 13,000 highly skilled IT workers with H-1B work visas, either directly or with H-visa holders. Existing 1Bs looking to change jobs and continue your stay in the United States, according to data available from the US Department of Labor.
- Apart from that, companies like Wipro, TCS and Infosys, which have large contracts with US federal agencies, could also benefit, as the new notice allows workers whose travel request is “supported by an agency request. or US government entity “critical US foreign policy objectives or to meet contractual or treaty obligations” in the areas of technical and IT support.