Biden administration ‘undecided’ on ending visa ban


Washington, March 2

The Biden administration has indicated that it is still undecided on ending the Trump-era ban on issuing new H-1B visas, with the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asserting that the US government’s top priority is the acute needs of individuals fleeing persecution. The H-1B visa, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

In January, then President Donald Trump had extended the ban on issuing new H-1B visas till March 31, arguing that the country is having a very high unemployment rate and the US cannot afford to have more foreign workers. “His successor President Joe Biden has revoked dozens of the executive orders of Trump including several of those related to immigration like the lifting the Muslim visa ban or those related to Green Card, the one that imposed ban on issuing H-1B has still not been lifted. It will expire on March 31, if Biden does not issue a fresh proclamation.

“What is the status of the review of the Trump era visa bans for H1B visas and has the White House decided to lift those bans before they expire at the end of the month?” Mayorkas was asked at a White House news conference. At the same time, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has gone ahead with its H-1B application allocation process for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021. Last month, it announced that it had received enough applications to allocate 65,000 H-1B visas and another 20,000 H-1B visas to those who have completed their higher education from US universities.PTI



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