Finally, USA lift H4 visa ban and L2 visa ban: Families stuck in India to benefit most
The US Department of State issued new guidance that confirms that if the H-1B visa or L-1 visa holder is currently in the United States, H4 and L2 applicants(dependent family members) outside the United States can receive visas and travel to the united states.
Quick Recap of H-1B, L1, H4 Visa Ban, and Other Visa Restrictions that impacted India:
Background on Visa Ban:
- On June 22, the Trump administration suspended issuing H-1B work visas until the end of the year.
- Not only H1B Visa, but this Executive Order banned other visas, including H-4, L-1, and L-2 visas, and suspended entry into the US.
Who got impacted most by this Visa Ban and Visa restrictions?
- Spouses and children of H-1B visa holders holding an H-4 visa and currently in India.
- Software Professionals and IT professionals who got the first time H-1B visa and supposed to fly to the USA onsite
- US-based employees who are currently in India or require India travel but do not have Visa stamping or Visa is near expiration.
Indian families got the biggest hard hit from this visa ban and got separated.
Spouses and children got stuck in India and could not get a visa and travel to the US.
In the last week, multiple lawsuits were filed against the US administration, calling it inhuman and requesting to remove this visa ban.
Finally, The US Department of State issued new guidance to remove restrictions to help stuck family members.
Who is benefitted by this new Visa Lift Ban
This Visa ban will primarily help H-4 and L-2 visa holders who have been stuck in India for months due to consulate closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
What about H-1B visa holders and L-1 holders who got stuck in India?
Unfortunately, there is no official guidance provided for H-1B visa holders and L-1 holders. Therefore, the initial Executive order of visa restrictions stands the same with only below two exceptions to get H-1B at this time.
- Public health professionals, healthcare professionals, or researchers traveling to the US to alleviate the effects of COVID-19 or conduct ongoing medical research in an area with a substantial public health benefit;
- H-1B work supported by request from a US government agency
Its great news for families that have been separated for months. The next step is to keep an eye on the appointments to becomes available and schedule a Visa interview as consulates and embassies slowly begin to reopen.
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