Former President Trump’s Ban on H-1B Visa Reaches Expiration
By: Rachel Horner
When COVID-19 emerged last year, there was no telling the extents of its effects. However, early on, it was obvious that immigration would be one of the first industries to take a dire hit. A few months into the pandemic, the Trump Administration issued a proclamation which banned foreign nationals on “non-immigrant” visas, including the H-1B visa, from entering the country. The ban was extended by Trump to run until March 31, 2021. However, following that date’s passing, business immigration received welcome news—the Biden-Harris Administration has allowed its expiration to occur.
Now that Proclamation 10052 is over with, what’s next for those who were affected?
The U.S Department of State put out a statement announcing that Visa applicants who have yet to be interviewed will be prioritized, and visa applicants who were refused visas on the basis of the proclamation may reapply by submitting a new application with a new fee. The Department also stated that consulates are working on resuming routine visa services.
While the lift of the ban on H-1B visas is certainly good news, the effects may not be seen for a while. We have seen an increasingly high volume of cases as CAP season comes to its peak, meaning more competition for the coveted work visa. Another contribution to the high volume of cases consultancies may face is the fact that they have to operate at limited-capacity due to COVID-19, slowing down the process even more.
Proclamation 10052 is also not the only ban to recently have been lifted. Proclamation 10014, which banned the entry of those on immigrant visas, was lifted in February. Consultancies are currently still working on processing those immigrant visas, and the new wave of non-immigrant visas will take a while before they reach the front desks already flooded with delayed applications.
Regional travel bans are also still in effect for several countries – including Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and European/Schengen areas. Any foreign individual present in any of the 14 countries on the list may not be allowed to enter the U.S.
While the Biden Administration is working to reverse harmful policies and ease immigration restrictions, it’s obvious there is still a lot of work to be done.