As per a December 31, 2020 proclamation on “Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants”, US President Donald Trump has extended the ban on certain skilled immigrant visas – such as the H-1B – until March 31, 2020.
The Proclamation comes barely a few weeks before the end of Trump’s tenure as the POTUS.
The present extension is connected with Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020 as well as Proclamation 10052 of June 22, 2020. Both the Proclamations were regarding the suspension of the entry of immigrants into the US that were deemed as presenting a risk to the US labour market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The freeze on certain categories of US work visas had been ordered through the 2 previous proclamations. Another proclamation was issued on December 31 – hours before the initial freeze was to expire – extending the freeze until March 31, 2021.
As per the December 31 Proclamation, the reason behind the extension has been cited by the President as “The effects of COVID-19 on the United States labor market and on the health of American communities is a matter of ongoing national concern, and the considerations present in Proclamations 10014 and 10052 have not been eliminated….. an extension of Proclamations 10014 and 10052 is appropriate as the President continues to monitor the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and assess whether a further continuation, modification, or termination of Proclamations 10014 and 10052 is warranted.”
The extension shall “expire on March 31, 2021, and may be continued as necessary.”
|Immigration experts are of the opinion that the extension will have a minimal impact due to 4 main reasons –|
Indians are the largest recipients of the -1B visas. Moreover, as per a US study, immigrants are more “job creators” than “job takers”.
Earlier, on October 9, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security has announced an upcoming overhaul of the H-1B program.
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