Posted on January 4, 2021

Trump Administration Extends Ban on H-1B and Other Work Visas, Green Cards

Michelle Hackman, Wall Street Journal, December 31, 2020

The White House extended a ban on immigrants coming to the U.S. on work-based visas and green cards through the end of March, setting up another immigration policy decision for the incoming Biden administration to grapple with.

President Trump issued bans in April and in June in the name of protecting American workers from foreign competition, just as shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic were battering the economy. The ban, which had been set to expire Thursday, applies to immigrants coming to the U.S. on H-1B and several other employment-based visas, along with people coming on green cards to work or reunite with family.

It generally applies to green cards issued after April and some work-based visas issued after June, though there are exceptions, such as for the spouses of U.S. citizens.

The ban on work-based visas, in particular, was roundly criticized by Silicon Valley and others that said they depend on the visas to bring employees into industries ranging from tech and consulting to landscaping and seasonal resorts.