US H1B Visa Ban extended till March 31; Indian IT professionals impacted

If you are a Software Engineer or I.T. Professional waiting to go U.S. Onsite on an H1B visa this year, then the new year did not bring good news for you. U.S. President Donald Trump has announced the freeze on most sought-after H1B visas by Indian Software and I.T. professionals, along with other types of foreign work visas and green cards through March 31. This H1B visa ban is to protect the Americal workers who have lost their job amidst the covid-19 pandemic.

Reasons for extending the U.S. H1B Visa ban:

U.S. administration announced two proclamations, one on April 22 and another on June 22 last year, to freeze on various work visa categories, including H1B visa.

On Thursday, December 31, the administration issued another proclamation to extend the freeze and continue the Visa restrictions for various categories. 

According to the Trump administration, COVID-19 vaccines are recently available; however, the labour market and community health is not fully recovered. According to N.Y. Times, as of December 2020, over 800K people filed unemployment claims as millions of people are still struggling to find work.

COVID-19 Visa Ban and & U.S. Labour Market:

In his proclamation, Trump said that “The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to disrupt Americans” livelihoods significantly. While the November overall unemployment rate percent of 6.7 percent reflects a marked decline from its April high, there were still 9,834,000 fewer seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in November than in February of 2020”.

The number of new daily cases worldwide reported by the WHO is higher than the comparable number present during June. While therapeutics and Covid-19 vaccines are recently available for many Americans, their effect on the labour market and community health has not yet been fully realized, he said.

‘Moreover, actions such as States’ continued imposition of restrictions on businesses still affect the number of workers that can be hired as compared with February of 2020,” Trump said, adding that his latest proclamation may be extended if necessary.

Impact of this H1B Visa Ban

This H1B Visa ban will impact Indian Software and I.T. professionals and several American and Indian I.T. companies. Though Top Indian I.T. companies such as TCS, Infosys, Wipro, etc. have reduced the dependency on H1B visa and hired us, local candidates, still H1B visa is one of the most popular visas amongst Indian I.T. Companies.

The U.S. government issued H-1B visas by the fiscal year 2021 beginning October 1; therefore, this particular decision will impact Indian and US IT firms along with It professionals most.

The H-1B is a non-immigrant U.S. work visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H) that allows U.S. companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require technical or professional expertise. Tech companies hire thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China on this visa.

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