In a much-needed relief for Indian techies working in the US, the Joe Biden administration has decided not to extend the Trump-era visa.
The visa ban, which was imposed by former US president Donald Trump last June, was centred on the H1-B visas and also affected the L-1 visa program, seasonal workers in the hospitality industry and students on work-study programs.
The H-1B visa, which is a non-immigrant visa, allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Nearly 70 per cent of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued every year are used by Indian professionals.
The H1-B visas, which are approved for a period of three years, are a hiring pool for IT companies as it helps the companies keep their expenses in check.
With the expiration of the order, those who were impacted by the travel ban will now be able to resume work in the US.
Additionally, Indian techies and IT firms can be at ease at least for the next 1.5 years without worrying about H-1B wage hikes. The Biden administration has proposed an 18-month delay in the implementation of the rule.
On March 22, the Department of Labor said in a statement, “The proposed delay will provide the department with sufficient time to consider the rule’s legal and policy issues thoroughly, and issue an upcoming Request for Information and gather public comments on the sources and methods for determining prevailing wage levels.”
The proposed delay, the statement said, will also give them the time to compute and validate prevailing wage data covering specific occupations and geographic areas, complete necessary system modifications, and conduct public outreach.
The wage hike rule was first implemented on October 8, 2020, and was struck down by three federal courts since the Trump administration did not follow administrative procedures. Again on January 12, less than two weeks before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President, the rule was announced.