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Tags Current Affairs

H1B visa ban expires

Date: 03 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

US President Joe Biden has not renewed an order that put restrictions on procurement of H1B Visas for non-immigrants.

 

Background

The Trump administration had put a ban on issuance of new H1B visas as they aimed at protecting local jobs that were under strain due to pandemic.

 

Details

  • The Trump administration had said that US workers had to be protected from cheap foreign labour. This was after unemployment rate skyrocketed.

  • Among all the types of visas given to non-immigrants, the H1B visa remains the most popular. It is followed by L1 and H2B visas.

  • The H1B visa is issued to highly skilled workers, especially in the information technology sector. Majority of the visas are cornered by Indians and Chinese IT professionals.

 

Reason for the new move

  • The H1B visas are criticised for allowing cheap foreign labour at the expense of locals. They are also beneficial due to its ability to attract cheap and highly skilled workforce.

  • Global IT companies and American firms had criticised the June 2020 move. They had said that the H1B visas had a net positive impact on US economy.

 

Benefits to Indian IT sector

  • Majority of H-1B visas are given to highly skilled foreign workers. The rest are given to highly skilled foreign workers who have a higher education from an American university.

  • Most of the Indian companies have cut their dependence on work visa such as H-1B and L-1, but still it remains popular among Indian workers.

  • H-1B visas are given for a time period of three years for an individual, but many visa holders change employers to increase their US stay. 

  • Indian H-1B visa holders who were impacted by the travel ban can return back to US and continue working as an independent contractor as well.

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