Reversing Donald Trump’s immigration policies that could hurt foreigners seeking US citizenship, Joe Biden has signed an immigration bill on 20th of January 2021, his inaugural day that not only facilitates an eight-year path to citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants that include about 500,000 Indians but also supports students who want to get into US universities and H-1B employees.
The statement about the immigration reform stated implies that “this bill clears employment-based visa backlogs, recaptures unused visas, reduces lengthy wait times, and eliminates per-country visa caps” along with improving the accessibility and removing unnecessary hurdles of employment-based Green Cards to lower-wage employees.
This also means that the 8 lakh Indians waiting for receiving Green Cards for decades would also be favored with this immigration bill signed by Joe Biden. The 1.06 lakh Indians with H-4 visas who are the dependents of H-1B visa holders would also be authorized to work and will bring relief to those immigrant Indian families. The foreign students who are STEM graduates can work temporarily for three years in the US under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) with this bill.
The statement from an Indian IT industry body NASSCOM stated that “President Biden has pledged a new approach on Trade and Immigration, as well as a renewed and revitalized interest in Science and Technology. We appreciate President Biden’s commitment to review and make necessary changes to harmful regulatory policies put in place by the outgoing Administration.”
Trump administration’s haste announcement about H-1B visas included the end-clients also to file H-1B applications and Labour Condition Application (LCA) despite the primary employer doing the same and this could have had a huge negative impact on IT companies and staffing companies. CFO at TCS, V Ramakrishnan said that “we don’t know even if these changes will survive. Some of the changes that happened they were successfully legally challenged.” He also added that “having said that our own dependency on these has come down significantly. So, while these may create disruptions, these are part of the business model and we will be able to handle it whichever way the changes happen.”