All restrictions on H1-B, L and J visas taken off! In a fantastic news for work visa holders, a US District judge in Oakland has blocked the US administration from restricting entry for new H-1B, L1 and J visas holders as well as their dependents, H-4 and L2 visas holders in to the US. This entry ban was supposed to be effective until December 31, 2020 which is now rescinded.
Related Article: Details Of The Lawsuit Against H1-B Entry Ban
In a H1-B proclamation announced in June, President Trump announced that foreign workers negatively impacted the local American labor market and were preventing the economic recovery caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This caused many newly received H1-B visa beneficiaries and other non-immigrant visa holders to be stranded outside the US unable to enter because of the entry restrictions.
Several big companies including Amazon, Microsoft joined hands with U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Assn. of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation along with several thousand smaller businesses across different economic sectors sued the US government claiming that the work visa entry ban impeded the hiring of engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other essential workers needed for the continuation of their businesses and thus, help drive the American economy.
Who Is Affected By The Entry Ban Block & Now Enter The USA?
- 580,000 H1-B petitioners: Skilled foreign workers in specialty occupation who had just received their visas after June 24, 2020 but were outside the country at the time, waiting to enter the US can now come in
- 125,000 H4 visa holders: Dependents, including spouse and minor children of non-immigrant visa holders who are eligible to travel and live with the primary non-immigrant visa holder can now join them in the US.
- Approximately 75,000 (based on 2019’s data) L1 visa holders: Executives, managers coming in based on intra-company transfers
- Almost 300,000 J1 visa holders: Cultural & work exchange visas beneficiaries coming in for work and study abroad programs, including au pairs
- H2-B: seasonal worker visas
While this ruling is expected to be challenged in the District Courts in Washington, it provides some respite to many non-immigrants who were stranded outside the country, families who were separated because of their H4 or L2 visa statuses and the many tech companies who depend on this source of skilled labor.
This news come on the heels of another great news wherein the US courts blocked USCIS from the filing fees hike for many immigrant and non-immigrant petitions. Based on the blocked proposal, H1-B visa fees was to go up by 21% to $555 and the L1 visa by 75% to $850. The US citizenship fees was to go up by 83% to $1,1,75!