H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows employers to solicit foreign professionals. The immigration attorney can help you if there is an H1B prohibition.
What Is An H1B Visa?
The H1B visa is a temporary visa that allows U.S. companies to hire foreign workers for up to six years. It is the most common route for foreign workers to work and live in the United States.
An H1B visa ban is a significant setback for many who wish to move to the United States. Some people are concerned about another similar ban and how it could affect their lives, careers and the country’s economy.
If you’re worried about the impact of another ban, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know if another H1B visa ban is imposed.
What Happens if There Is an H1B Visa Ban?
The H1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that do not have enough skilled U.S. workers. This status is typically valid for three years and can be extended for up to six years or indefinitely if the employee has a green card.
The previous administration imposed restrictions (the “ban”) on the H1B visa program, which affected the hiring of foreign workers with specialized skills.
With these program restrictions, many skilled workers from foreign countries had difficulty getting approval to come to work in the United States. This meant that U.S. companies that relied on foreign employees or contractors also had problems with staffing.
It also created concern for people currently in H-1B status, as they did not know if they would be able to extend their stay in the country.
Discussing your concerns with a trusted visa attorney may ease your worries.
What Is the H1B Ban Executive Order?
In April 2017, former President Trump signed an Executive Order on Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs , which limited the number of H-1B visas granted each year.
This decision affected multiple companies and many workers. The H1B visa has an annual quota of 65,000 visas and an additional 20,000 to serve those with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution.
When Was the H1B Ban Extended?
Although the H1B visa program is the most common way for employers to hire highly skilled foreign workers, not everyone supports the program.
The Trump administration had been pushing for stricter immigration policies and specifically targeted the H-1B visa program by imposing stricter requirements and restrictions on applicants for work visas through this program.
On December 20, 2018, former President Trump signed the ” Protecting America’s Workers Act.” This legislation extended the suspension of expedited processing of applications, including the H-1B program. At the time, there was no end in sight to the ban.
What Does the H1B Travel Ban Do?
The H1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the United States to work in specialty occupations, such as occupations in technical industries.
The temporary H-1B nonimmigrant visa has been a viable option for many people to seek jobs in fields that they otherwise would not have been able to. It also ensures that the right people are working in those jobs.
Who Was Affected by the H1B Travel Ban?
On June 22, 2020, former President Donald Trump signed a proclamation suspending the entry of all refugees for 120 days. This also had an impact on the H1B visa program.
The order indefinitely barred Syrian refugees and banned citizens of the following countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days:
Fortunately, the ban does not affect those who have already obtained visas or green cards, nor those already in the U.S. with H-1B status. It also does not apply to dual nationals traveling with passports from other countries.
Who Was Affected by the H1B Stamp Ban?
On July 22, 2020, former President Trump signed an executive order that temporarily suspended the stamping process required for specific work-related immigration visas, such as the H-1B visa and the H-2B visa, among others.
There were several categories of immigrants who were most affected by the stamping ban. These include the following:
- Business executives
- Skilled workers in technical industries.
- Spouses of skilled workers applying for H-4 visas.
Also affected were foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. offices of their multinational companies on L visas and individuals on J-1 visas.
For more information about visa bans and how they could affect you if they recur in the future, contact a qualified immigration attorney.
What Are the H1B Entry Ban Waivers?
Fortunately, the H1B visa program ban is being lifted for specific categories of workers and exempted for others.
The Trump administration had announced that it would allow exemptions for the H1B visa program. The exemptions were for the following:
- Those who have received master’s degrees or higher from a U.S. university.
- Those who have received STEM degrees from a U.S. university.
- Those who work at universities and colleges as professors or lecturers.
If you have further questions regarding the H1B visa ban, it may be beneficial for you to contact an experienced immigration attorney, such as Immigration Hero.
When Was the H1B Visa Ban Lifted?
Although the Biden administration has a different view on many immigration issues than the previous administration, it did not lift the H1B visa ban.
The ban expired in March 2021 and then was automatically lifted as the end date passed without the president signing another executive order for an extension.
This means that those relying on the H1B visa, including immigrants with a master’s degree in business, an MBA or other highly desired skill, can return to work in their specialized professions on U.S. soil.
In addition, students from other countries who graduate will be able to enter the annual H1B visa lottery system, allowing them to seamlessly enter the workforce.
Do You Need H1B Assistance?
As of March 2021, the visa lottery system has restarted. Workers can re-enter the United States for their jobs.
Many people are concerned about whether there will be another ban in the future. While every area of law is inherently complex, immigration law is even more complicated than most, given the frequent changes it faces.