US makes exception to visa ban; H-1B holders can enter US on this conditionPage Visited: 13
H-1B and L-1 visa holders, who are returning to the same jobs they had prior to the proclamation of the visa ban, will be allowed to enter the US, said an advisory on August 12.
The US Department of State advisory said dependents (spouses and children) will also be allowed to travel along with primary visa holders.
On June 22, the US President Donald Trump had signed a proclamation that suspended non-immigrant visas such as H-1B till the end of the year in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Trump administration granted an exception from the ban for “travel by applicants seeking to resume ongoing employment in the US in the same position with the same employer and visa classification”.
“Forcing employers to replace employees in this situation may cause financial hardship,” said the advisory.
Grey Siskind, an immigration attorney, said in a tweet that this will allow H-1Bs stuck abroad to get visas if they are returning to jobs they have held in the US before departing.
The recent exception will also allow technical specialists, senior-level managers, and other workers whose travel is necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the US. However these individuals should be in the space of powering critical infrastructure such as communication, emergency services, financial services, food and agriculture and healthcare.
In addition to this, it should also be proved that these individuals are significant contributors, and they are vital for business enterprise, the advisory said.
Apart from this, L-1 and H-1B visa holders working for a US entity to meet critical US foreign policy objectives or to satisfy treaty or contractual obligations would be allowed to enter.
“This would include individuals, identified by the Department of Defense or another US government agency, performing research, providing IT support/services, or engaging other similar projects essential to a US government agency,” the agency said.
These H-1B applicants should have wages 15 percent more than the prevailing wage. Also, H-1B applicant’s education, training and/or experience demonstrate unusual expertise in the specialty occupation in which the applicant will be employed.
“For example, an H-1B applicant with a doctorate or professional degree, or many years of relevant work experience, may have such advanced expertise in the relevant occupation as to make it more likely that he or she will perform critically important work for the petitioning employer,” the advisory added.