Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, will soon sign an executive order to suspend the H1B visa program until the end of the year. Apart from the H1B visa, H4, H2B, J and L visas of certain categories will also be impacted. While H1B workers who are already in the US with valid visas will not be impacted by this move, the fate of thousands of other workers who are currently held-up in other countries with unstamped visas is currently unknown.
“We have been in USA since 2005-Law abiding & tax-paying immigrants. We have valid petitions but unfortunately impacted due to June 22’s EO. We were unable to get visa stamping due to consulate closures. Kindly take up our issue to amplify our voices/grievances. Thanks,” says Maripalli on Twitter.
“Had to travel to India during the pandemic due to an error/shortened I-94. Have H4 petition till Nov 2020. Unfortunately could not get stamping due to consulate closures. Impacted by the EO, financial burden/family separation. Please help,” says Shalini.
“Please help us. My husband is in the US and I came to India with my 1 yr old (USC) for H4 stamping and got stranded here from March but unfortunately, we are impacted due to June 22 EO. Family separation is really painful. Kindly take up our issue,” says Tejaswini Reddy.
“My H1B renewal was approved while I was in USA and travelled to India in March this year 2020 Just to get stamped. Submitted my docs in dropbox and then 4 days later US consulate in India was closed due to lockdown. Any idea how the new order affects my case?, asks Raja Mohan Vennapusa.
Many such individuals have taken to social media platforms for more clarity as the executive order applies to people outside the US who do not currently hold a valid nonimmigrant visa and who lack a travel document.
What Must Workers Without Stamped H1B Visa and other US Visas Do?
Those without valid visas as of now, and out of the United States would be required to contact immigration lawyers for more details on the options available to them. “Unfortunately, I think you’re in a tough spot. If you don’t have a valid visa or travel document and you’re out of the country, then you’re seemingly covered. You might talk to your immigration lawyer about exemption categories,” tweeted Greg Siskind, an immigration lawyer and founding partner of Siskind Susser to a similar query on Twitter.
Indians, undoubtedly, will be impacted the most by this decision as they account for 70 percent of nearly 85,000 H1B visas that are given out annually by the US. Industry leaders have expressed disappointment regarding this move. “Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all,” tweeted Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google and Alphabet.
These companies are telling HR to put priority on hiring h1b holders. Disney was extra dirty in that it had citizen employees training these visa holders and after training them, the citizens were fired and the jobs were given to the immigrants with poor English skills. Why pay taxes if your country just throws you under the bus to help outsiders?