The article is updated on 19 August 2020 with America’s new proposed travel policies for citizens and immigrants
There’s good news for existing H1B visa holders who had returned to their home countries. The US administration has eased H1B visa restrictions and will now allow immigrants with valid H1B visas to enter the USA if they meet certain conditions. Find out H1B visa relaxations.
This is the first announcement of relaxation for visa rules since the proclamation made on June 22nd that suspended the entry of people with certain non-immigrant visas. Read more about the H1 Visa Suspension Till The End of 2020.
America’s New Policies For Citizens and Immigrants
As the country continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic and balances health measures with restarting the economy, the government has announced a few new rules and is mulling over others. While some immigrants with H1B visas can return to their jobs, American citizens from coronavirus hotspots may be locked out of the country for a while.
New Travel Rules For Citizens And Green Card Holders
The American government is mulling new travel regulations for its own citizens and permanent residents. The draft includes measures that may keep American citizens from entering the country if they are travelling from coronavirus hotspots. Such rules are unprecedented and will lead to a number of legal challenges.
Key Points Of The Proposed Rules
While the USA has banned the entry of foreigners from coronavirus hotspots, the new rules talk of not allowing US citizens and green card holders from entering the USA if they are coming from known coronavirus hotspots and there is a reasonable belief that they may have been “exposed to or infected with a communicable disease”.
The new rules will be based on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authority.
Under the existing rules, returning US citizens are screened and quarantined. The duration for which the new rules would be applicable has not been mentioned. Some reports suggest that the new rules will apply mainly to traffic from America’s neighbor- Mexico.
The USA H1B Visa Relaxations Who Can Benefit?
H1B visa holders who had left the USA will now be allowed to return as long as they are returning for the same job and position they held before the lockdown.
Visa holders cannot apply for a change in visa classification. Their spouses will also be permitted to travel to the USA with them. Similar guidelines have been announced for L1 visa holders.
Researchers and healthcare professionals traveling for COVID-19 related projects or on request from a US government agency will also be allowed into the country.
Senior-level employees in critical sectors such as information technology and healthcare may get visas if the applicants meet at least 2 of the below 5 criteria.
- The petitioning employer has a continued need for the services performed by the applicant
- The applicant provides unique and significant contributions to critical infrastructure
- The applicant will be paid a salary that is at least 15% higher than the prevailing wage rate
- The applicant’s education, experience or training demonstrates unusual expertise in the relevant occupation
- Denial of the visa will cause the employer financial hardship
Why Have The H1B Visa Regulations Been Relaxed?
The H1b visa relaxation was announced keeping in mind the financial hardships that companies may face when hiring new staff to replace immigrants. It should also be noted that many companies in the US tech sector including Microsoft and Facebook had filed briefs in the California court in support of a lawsuit against the suspension announced in June.
- Can Indians Benefit From Trump’s Green Card Suspension?
- Coronavirus In USA – Trump’s Europen Travel Ban Explained
- Working In The USA – Is The Country Losing The Tech Edge?
- Trump’s Merit Based Immigration And Green Card System – Key Points
- Indian Companies In Top 10 H1B Visa Application