Grand Ambition and Positive Regulatory Actions
Immediately upon taking office, President Biden enacted a series of Administrative
and Regulatory Actions to stop the anti-immigration policies of his predecessor.
He also has also proposed a sweeping revision of the Immigration and Nationality
Act, including a path to citizenship for all undocumented individuals
currently in the United States.
The measures impacting most of the critical business immigration matters are:
• Not extending the ban on the issuance of H-1B, L-1, J-1 visas for
principals and dependents. The ban on H-1B, L-1 and J-1 Visas expired
on March 31, 2021;
• Ensuring that the H-1B visa program is not decapitated with regulatory
measures that would have dramatically increases wage requirements and
redefined the qualifications for “specialty occupation” positions
and what constituted “employer-employee relationships.”
The U.S. Federal Courts, in the last year of the Trump Administration had
struck down many of the restrictive measures that were put in place to
make the application for H-1B visas more difficult. The Trump Administration
had declared its intentions to make the application process almost impossible.
However, the Biden Administration has stated that they will take a more
generous view to immigration and will not enact ad hoc measures to harm
corporate immigration. Consequently, positions such as Computer Programmers
are now eligible for H-1B visas. The USCIS further declared that, because
of court decisions, they will be open to reconsidering denials of visas
which were based on the regulatory measures overturned by the courts.
On Wage Levels, on which the Biden Administration is expected to take
a tougher line on, the Department of Labor has enacted a delay of at least
18 months to November 14, 2022 before implementation of any new measures.
• Employment based Greencards: The Biden Administration aims to boost
the issuance of Greencards by eliminating counting beneficiaries against
the legislatively mandated 140,000 Employment based Greencards that are
allowed per year. This, along with the elimination of per country limitations
for Greencards would eliminated the backlog for countries, such as India.
• H-1B Visas: The Biden Administration has promised to examine why
rates for H-1B visas went up in recent years. The Administration has also
postponed plans to allot H-1B visas based on Wages.
The Biden Administration’s main thrust has been on prioritizing Immigration
benefits for those currently in the United States in an undocumented status
and in protecting the rights of Family based immigration. It may be noted
that as per the lasted numbers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security,
only 14% if immigrants to the United States are employment visa based
and 69% are family based.
The redefining Immigration Reform proposal that the Biden Administration
proposed by the Biden Administration has run into stiff resistance in
Congress – which will have to pass any or some of these measures.
The sentiment in Congress now revolves around efforts to break up the
bill into smaller measures that may be more politically viable.
It may also be noted that the new Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro
Mayorkas, previously headed the USCIS and is well versed on all immigration
matters and pragmatic in his approach. He is expected to take an active
role in the direction of all new rules and regulations.
We will monitor these and other pertinent immigration issues and update
our clients as more details becomes available. Please feel free to contact
USILAW with any questions or issues that you may have. You may reach us
via telephone at +1 (202) 618 4540 or via email at email@example.com.