Washington: In a move that will help many in the US staying on H-1B visas, President Joe Biden has rescinded a decision by his predecessor Donald Trump which prevented Green Card seekers from entering the US.
The possession of a Green Card, common parlance for the US Permanent Resident Card, entitles the holder to reside permanently in the country.
Biden announced on Wednesday that Trump's policy of putting restrictions on immigrants did not serve American interests. On the contrary, it harms the United States, as the new visa ban also prevented employees from bringing their families to the US, even in the case of those holding green card.
Industries also stood to lose fresh talent from abroad. Biden had advocated right through his presidential campaign restoration of the facility to apply for visa for families of those who had obtained visas through Visa Lottery scheme 2020.
Last year, Trump slapped a ban on the grounds that it was needed to protect US job-seekers from the rising unemployment especially as a result of the pandemic.
However, Biden has not yet revoked the ban on new temporary work visas for certain foreign countries, including the H-1B visas. But if not renewed, the temporary ban is destined to expire automatically on March 31.
Statistics show that America has a backlog of 473,000 qualified family-based Green Card requests.
Trump's ban on issuing green cards, had resulted in the loss of nearly 120,000 family-based preference visas. But conversely it has also resulted in fresh issue of employment-based green cards to mainly holders of H-1B visas.
As a result, thousands of Indian IT professionals who painstakingly waited for their Green Card, received their legal permanent residency in the last few months of the Trump presidency.
As opposed to the H-1B visa, which is a non-immigrant visa, but still sought after by skilled professionals like Indian IT professionals, the Permanent Residence Card is a coveted document due to the residency rights it grants.
US technology companies hire thousands of tech employees each year from India and China on non-immigrant visa of the H-1B category. It is normally granted to companies that employ applicants for jobs that require theoretical or technical expertise.