On April 22, 2020, the previous administration announced visa suspensions arguing that they presented “a risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak.” With that decision, the United States suspended visas to protect the labor market, not due to any health risks posed by the pandemic.

During its last full month in operation, the previous administration extended the prohibition until March 31, 2021, thus placing its decision squarely before the Biden administration.

Thus, it is now up to President Biden to reverse the order and re-issue the prior rules concerning visas. 

The policy change of visa suspensions is expected to affect approximately 525,000 individuals. It will also affect about 20,000 businesses and employers who had planned to bring much-needed workers to the United States to fill critical positions. Employers that rely on these expected workers are facing labor shortfalls. Businesses seeking to attract high-quality personnel will suffer.

The United States has long enjoyed a reputation for attracting the best global talent. However, the new policy has resulted in these workers looking elsewhere, including Canada. It also affects CEO’s of foreign companies in their ability to visit a U.S. factory. In fact, they might think twice about relocating plants and offices here in the future and instead choose other more hospitable places. 

The ban also hurts universities and colleges in the United States. The best of the best international students are more likely now to study elsewhere and bypass the labyrinth that is the U.S. immigration system.

Many of those affected are winners of diversity visas. These visas are distributed by lottery and are meant to increase representation from some countries.

These “golden tickets” total about 50,000 in any given year.  A winner with the diversity visa must enter the U.S. within six months of its approval. With the change in policy, many of these diversity visa winners will be unable to enter the United States before their visas expire.

Please check back frequently as we provide updates on the Biden administration’s efforts to roll back many immigration policies. 

The Law Office of Miguel A. Serrano provides expert immigration advice and total dedication to their clients. As Global Business Immigration Lawyers, clients include employers and businesses, academics, scientists, artists and athletes. The firm represents many seeking an EB-1 visa, an L visa and an EB-2 for business start-ups. The firm also represents families seeking reunification with visas, residency applications and citizenship. With decades of experience, our firm can help your business solve the complex world of U.S. immigration law.

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