A Washington District Judge has blocked a request for a preliminary injunction aimed at cancelling the Presidential Proclamation that has temporarily suspended the issue of any new H-1B work visas, plus L-1 and other temporary non-immigrant work permits for most foreign workers.
President Trump’s June 22nd order, which came about amidst the coronavirus outbreak and high unemployment rates, means the issue of H-1B, H-4 and L-1 Visas has come to a halt. A number of large companies, including tech giants in Silicon Valley, are supporting lawsuits challenging this work visa ban. They say it is causing damage to American business, and that they constantly rely on the ability to hire talent from across the world.
The injunction request was requested by 169 Indian citizens who were hoping to work in the US, but have been stuck in their home country due to the ban.
The ban is expected to last until at least the end of the year, if not longer – unless there is a change in policy from the Trump administration. It is worth noting that some people are exempt from the ban – those whose arrival would be deemed ‘in the national interest’ of the US, as determined by the US Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security and other officials.
As the debate about the suspension goes on, the Department of Labor has also recently proposed new hurdles for H-1B Work Visa applicants. Full details of the proposal have not been published yet, but we expect the administration will include an increase of the minimum salary requirement which may cause problems for some businesses previously reliant on H-1B workers. President Trump may want to clear the proposal before the presidential elections in November and, if given the go-ahead, may be pushed through immediately without public comment, unlike the case with most other rules which allow a period of review.
Our team will keep you updated with the latest developments on temporary work visas. For more information on your H-1B application, or if you think you may be exempt from the suspension under the ‘national interest’ rule, get in touch with our team below or by contacting your local office here.